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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 878..


CHIEF MINISTER FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTION

Question No. 177

Legislative Assembly - Misleading by Ministers

MS FOLLETT: Asked the Chief Minister upon notice on 29 February 1996:

In relation to the Parliamentary Convention that Ministers who mislead Parliament should resign do you -

(1) Undertake to abide by this convention.

(2) Differentiate between deliberate misleading, inadvertent misleading and failure to fully inform the House.

(3) Accept that if a correction of an inadvertent misleading of Parliament is to be accepted as exonerating the Minister concerned that such a correction must be on the same day.

(4) Undertake to inform this Assembly immediately you become aware of any possible incidence where Minister may have mislead this Assembly.

MRS CARNELL: The answer to the Member's question is as follows:

(1) The act of knowingly misleading a Parliament is an extremely serious issue.

Ministers of this Government take their responsibilities very seriously to ensure that, to the best of their knowledge, they provide accurate information to the community and to the Assembly.

(2) It is difficult to fully answer this question without details of the particular issue that the Member has in mind.

No Minister in this Government would seek to knowingly mislead the Legislative Assembly.

Should a Minister become aware that he or she has potentially misled the Parliament, either inadvertently or through providing incomplete information, every effort would be made to correct this situation as soon as was practicable.

(3) If a Minister became aware of a situation where he or she has potentially misled the Assembly, they would certainly undertake to inform the Assembly as soon as was practicable.

(4) If a Member believes a Minister may have misled the Assembly, the Member should write immediately to the Minister involved and draw his or her attention to the specific issue or raise the matter in the Assembly at the earliest opportunity.


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