Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 5 Hansard (6 April) . . Page.. 1475..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
In response to a supplementary from Mr Mulcahy, asking when the funding was allocated, Mr Corbell replied:
I think that the funds were appropriated before you became a member of the Assembly, Mr Mulcahy.
We have on Tuesday, 15 March a booking system that is an old one, and that the ACT government, using funds provided before November 2004, is going to provide a new system. On Wednesday, 16 March and Thursday, 17 March, Mr Corbell was full of information and good cheer about the new booking system, as he was on the Tuesday of that week, but he was uncharacteristically tight lipped when I asked the follow-up question on the topic.
On Thursday, 17 March, after question time, and thus safe from the pesky questions that may have been asked, the minister told us that the government was upgrading, not replacing, the planning system; not only that, but the funds were not appropriated, no. Now, suddenly, the funds, some $300,000, have come from the commonwealth. We have gone from replacing an old system with a new one, using government money from pre-2004, to upgrading the current system, which was installed in late 2001, by using a commonwealth grant.
Mr Deputy Speaker, I suspect we have been through this before. This is the sort of changing story that got the minister censured last year for wilfully and persistently misleading the Assembly. I also point out, because this is a point overlooked, that Mr Corbell only survived that no-confidence motion after begging Kerrie Tucker to spare his political life and giving a grovelling apology to the Assembly.
So a warning to Mr Corbell: if he persists with making things up, whether they be quotes from Hansard or the phantom replacement of the radiotherapy planning system, he will be brought to account.
Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: Mr Smyth knows that is highly unparliamentary. He has suggested that I have lied to the Assembly and that I am making things up. That is an improper imputation, and he should be asked to withdraw it.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Smyth I will ask you, if you think you might have impugned the minister, if you might like to consider withdrawing that.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the imputation. But Mr Corbell can start fixing things up by coming down here tonight and telling us the true story of the planning system. I will make it easy for him, because this is what happened: in December 2001, the government appropriated—
Ms MacDonald: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: I think Mr Smyth once again impugned Mr Corbell's reputation. In the last sentence he made the comment that he continued to make things up. That clearly impugns Mr Corbell and is stating that he is not telling the truth.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ms MacDonald, I don't recall those words exactly.