The passage of tough new animal welfare laws has been delayed, after the ACT government belatedly agreed to brief the opposition on the detail of the Australian-first reforms.
The government was hoping on Tuesday to secure passage of the sweeping changes to the territory's animal welfare laws, which would create a range of new offences for the mistreatment of pets.
But those plans were thwarted after the opposition and Greens used their numbers on the floor to adjourn debate on the legislation.
Earlier in the day, City Services Minister Chris Steel came under fire after it was revealed that he refused a request from the opposition's urban services spokeswoman, Nicole Lawder, for a briefing on the laws.
Speaking in the chamber on behalf of Ms Lawder, Liberal frontbencher Vicki Dunne said Mr Steel had snubbed her colleague because he believed that she already held firm views on the reforms.
That was based on statements Ms Lawder made to The Canberra Times on May 14 - two days before the bill was introduced into the Assembly - in which she claimed that the laws could turn animal-loving pet owners into criminals.
Under the proposed laws, which would make the ACT the first jurisdiction in the country to recognise animals as "sentient beings", owners would face fines for not providing their pets with appropriate food, water, shelter or exercise.
On Tuesday, Ms Dunne described Mr Steel's actions as "arrogant" and "churlish", saying she couldn't recall a similar snub in her near 20-year career in the Assembly.
The opposition found an unlikely ally in their condemnation of Mr Steel, with Greens crossbencher Caroline Le Couteur saying she was "shocked and disturbed" to hear the briefing request had been denied.
"I think that is incredibly poor form," Ms Le Couteur said.
"All I can say positively to the opposition is that you are not alone - I've had considerable problems getting briefings from the government."
Mr Steel told the chamber that he was "very happy to provide briefings in good faith".
"But unfortunately, on this occasion, the opposition chose to take a stance on the bill before it had even been introduced to the Assembly," he said.
Mr Steel said Ms Lawder was provided with written responses to questions about the legislation.
But following Tuesday's vote, Mr Steel will now brief Ms Lawder in-person before the legislation is brought back to the Assembly for further debate.
The opposition had pushed for the reforms, which Ms Dunne described as "novel" and "complex", to be referred to a committee for further scrutiny, but that was rejected.