Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (3 March) . . Page.. 682..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
are questions that many in the community, many on this side of the house and some of the crossbenchers are interested in having answered. Therefore, I commend the motion to the Assembly and would ask that the Assembly consider it in a call to have some openness so that we can have an informed debate on what happened with the sale of the Williamsdale Quarry.
MS TUCKER (4.52): I am in a difficult position because I am concerned about standing order 241, which says:
The evidence taken by any committee and documents presented to and proceedings and reports of the committee shall be strictly confidential and shall not be published or divulged by any member of the committee or by any other person until the report of the committee has been presented to the Assembly.
I think that this standing order applies. Therefore, I am not able to talk about the issue of concern to me here, except to say that I will not be supporting Mr Smyth's motion and I do intend to raise as an issue the use of standing orders within the committee forum. I am sorry, but because of standing order 241 I do not feel that I can say anything else.
MRS CROSS (4.53): Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Smyth for bringing this motion forward. He has raised some very serious questions. I have had some concerns for some time. After listening to Mr Smyth, there are many things that I would like to know, but I understand that there is already an inquiry in the Assembly relating to this matter. Is that right? Anyway, I do have concerns about the Williamsdale Quarry.
Mr Smyth: There are no formal terms of reference.
MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether there is sensitivity here on issues we are not supposed to be discussing because of what the Public Accounts Committee is doing.
MR SPEAKER: I do not think you are on the Public Accounts Committee.
MRS CROSS: No, I am not.
MR SPEAKER: I think the sensitivity that Ms Tucker referred to was the use of evidence taken by the committee and committee proceedings which have not been made public. If you are not a member of the committee and if you not referring to any of that evidence, which you would not be able to do because it is confidential, I think it is open to you to proceed.
MRS CROSS: The only concern that I have at this stage about what Mr Smyth raised is about the sale of the quarry and the amount that was received for the sale of the quarry. I do not understand why the sale was confidential, why there has been a cap on the release of information on that and, indeed, why people have been so worried about this information coming out, to the point where attempts were made to stop this matter coming into the Assembly at all for discussion.
If it is not a sensitive issue and there is nothing to hide, why don't we just be transparent and open about it? For this purpose, I think that it has piqued my curiosity even more