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What does it take to get the Greens to support a censure?

By johnboy - 7 April 2011 7

Yesterday the Liberals tried to censure Simon Corbell for the ongoing failures at the prison.

It failed due to lack of support by the Greens.

In today’s Canberra Times the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has expressed frustration at the never ending censure motions being moved by the Liberals.

Which did make us wonder what the threshold for the Greens support of a censure motion actually is.

So we asked, and this is the reply from Amanda Bresnan – Greens whip and manager of business:

The Greens take motions of no-confidence and censure very seriously, and we hope that all parties in this Assembly treat this matter the same level of seriousness.

The Greens look to the MLA’s Code of Conduct and the Ministerial Code of Conduct when considering whether the actions of a Minister warrant a Vote of No Confidence or a censure. The Codes assists us in objectively assessing whether or not the conduct of a Minister warrants formal criticism from the Assembly, or even more seriously, relief of Ministerial responsibility.

The most serious aspects of these Codes are those matters regarding corruption, as such actions can severely breach the public’s confidence in our system of parliament.

Based on these Codes of Conduct, some of the other key questions that we can ask about a Minister’s actions are:
• Did the action damage public confidence in the system of government or public sector management?
• Did the Minister wilfully or knowingly mislead the Assembly in respect of their ministerial responsibilities?
• Has the Minister acted honestly and respectfully towards all MLAs, public officials and the public?
• Has the Minister failed to exercise due diligence, care and attention in relation to their duties and responsibilities as Minister?

We do not believe censures or Votes of no confidence are warranted because of reasonable policy differences. Rather a level a misfeasance or impropriety must be present.

We also do not think it is appropriate to censure a minister simply because with the benefit of hindsight things have not worked out as we would have liked when there are many factors beyond a Minister’s control at play.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
What does it take to get the Greens to support a censure?
54-11 6:03 pm 07 Apr 11

Corbell fails on point 1 straight away. His handling of the Hume Hilton has been appalling. From the opening 6 months before it was ready to actually operate, through to the farce when the in-floor heating was butchered by installing locked down furniture.

Corbell has failed to do anything about repeated bungles – his responsibility starts when he refuses to accept responsibility for major administrative failures within his portfolio(s), or even to acknowledge that things have gone wrong.

Which was his pattern of behaviour all through his ministerial career, most particularly when he was Planning Minister. His major claim to fame in Planning was that he somehow managed to make Brendan Smyth look like an intellectual giant, rather than the pygmy that he is.

Corbell is a joke, a very sick joke.

pandaman 5:39 pm 07 Apr 11

housebound said :

Amanda Bresnan said:
Based on these Codes of Conduct, some of the other key questions that we can ask about a Minister’s actions are:
• Did the action damage public confidence in the system of government or public sector management?
• Did the Minister wilfully or knowingly mislead the Assembly in respect of their ministerial responsibilities?
• Has the Minister acted honestly and respectfully towards all MLAs, public officials and the public?
• Has the Minister failed to exercise due diligence, care and attention in relation to their duties and responsibilities as Minister?

The bigger question is what the censure motions have been, and the why the Greens have refused to support each and every last one. We can’t really comment until looking through all that.

With the high farce we see here, aka the ACT Government, I find it hard to believe that there has not been one worthy censure motion just on the first point alone, if not the first three points, but perhap the evidence will show otherwise.

+1

I was thinking the same thing. Reading the list of “key questions” and looking at the media coverage regarding the issues at the Hume Hilton (mostly based on government press releases) it would appear that Corbell has a valid case to answer at each and every point regarding his conduct in relation to this matter. I’m not making a judgement of guilt here, just noting that the publicly available information seems to closely match the criteria for a motion of censure to be considered. While the libs are behaving in a very immature “jump up and down and scream look at me! look at me!” kinda manner, they may actually have a point on this one.

housebound 3:59 pm 07 Apr 11

Amanda Bresnan said:
Based on these Codes of Conduct, some of the other key questions that we can ask about a Minister’s actions are:
• Did the action damage public confidence in the system of government or public sector management?
• Did the Minister wilfully or knowingly mislead the Assembly in respect of their ministerial responsibilities?
• Has the Minister acted honestly and respectfully towards all MLAs, public officials and the public?
• Has the Minister failed to exercise due diligence, care and attention in relation to their duties and responsibilities as Minister?

The bigger question is what the censure motions have been, and the why the Greens have refused to support each and every last one. We can’t really comment until looking through all that.

With the high farce we see here, aka the ACT Government, I find it hard to believe that there has not been one worthy censure motion just on the first point alone, if not the first three points, but perhap the evidence will show otherwise.

colourful sydney rac 2:32 pm 07 Apr 11

It is a bit pathetic the way the Liberals try on a censure motion at the drop of a hat – the more they try it on the less chance they have of any success.

It is almost as embarrasing as Tony Aboott moving his motions to suspend standing orders at 2:50 every sitting day so he can bag the Govt on frre to air tv before play school shuts down the broadcast of parliament.

zippyzippy 2:23 pm 07 Apr 11

How many censures have the Liberals done since the last election? Everything seems to be a censure. It’s like it all they do. And often it seems to be based on a bit of sensationalism and distortion. Geez it’s tedious. Is there anything the Libs actually can do? Policy ideas?

Thumper 1:50 pm 07 Apr 11

Sounds fair to me. The Liberals run a real risk of being the “boy who cried wolf” they way they trot these votes out at every whiff or change of the breeze. They’re undermining their own credibility.

Granted the Liberals are a bunch of muppets but the Greens lost their credibility as an independent party a long time ago with their absolute and complete refusal to do anything other than back the Stanhope government in pretty much everything.

I still wonder how Joy ‘Lalalala’ Burch has remained an MLA after the Bimberi farce.

Gungahlin Al 1:27 pm 07 Apr 11

Sounds fair to me. The Liberals run a real risk of being the “boy who cried wolf” they way they trot these votes out at every whiff or change of the breeze. They’re undermining their own credibility.

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