Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2715..
MR SPEAKER: I think members are entitled to do that, because members defending the case will also do it.
MR CORNWELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection.
MR SPEAKER: I would not have called it that, but proceed anyway.
MR CORNWELL: My position will be revealed. There was the issue of Nettlefold Street. This morning I read in the paper that this minister threatens to ignore the Assembly and force a health merger on a matter that was discussed only yesterday. I understand from radio this morning that the electorate is already responding to this matter by saying that Mr Corbell is again making a mockery of the Assembly and the instructions of the majority of the Assembly. Mr Speaker, this is what I am referring to in my case in expressing a lack of confidence in the Minister for Health by the Assembly.
The rights and privileges we have in this parliament are vested in us only by the electorate, by the people who have placed us here; therefore, if you seek to insult the Assembly by ignoring its rules, by misleading its representatives, you insult and ignore the people of the ACT who placed everybody here. That is the point. It certainly leads to arrogance, if you are prepared to dismiss the views of the majority of members who clearly must have been elected by the majority of voters. I am talking now of the Assembly collectively. If nine members of this Assembly make a decision against the other eight, clearly the majority of the Assembly members and the majority of their voters must be listened to.
This is not the case with at least three examples of this minister misleading the Assembly. It shows, at best, incompetence; it certainly shows arrogance and I suspect it shows contempt for the Assembly and, therefore, for the people of the ACT. It is therefore a small step to a minister deciding that, if he can get away with the issue of Nettlefold Street and the health merger in spite of what the Assembly wants, then it is but a short step to deciding that the information sought by and provided to other members of this Assembly can be equally abused and members misled. That is the point of this motion tonight. We do not wish to see this behaviour perpetuated.
MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (9.33): I think Mr Cornwell and Mr Stefaniak, who spoke before him, have made clear the basis of this ill-founded motion. Quite simply they do not like Mr Corbell.
I took a point of order on bringing in other issues. Members opposite just do not like Mr Corbell's style and his personality. Not only that, as the election gets nearer they have been searching around for something-anything; whatever they can drag up, whether it is to do with Mr Corbell or somebody else-to try to get some attention. I think it is thoroughly unjustified. Mr Cornwell claimed that Mr Corbell insulted the Assembly by ignoring the rules. I have to say that I think the insult to the Assembly is this motion; that such a pathetically presented case with absolutely no arguments should be brought in here. We have said before that no confidence motions are quite serious things. Indeed they are. Mr Corbell's future is at stake here tonight. The Assembly can