Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 170..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
That is what the government did with FireLink. That is what the government did in relation to the other issues that the opposition have asked about. Whether it is pay parking at the hospital, schools or other issues, it is about having regard to the facts before you and responding to those based on those facts—not asserting for ever and a day that what you said at X period in time will remain the absolute truth for ever and ever. If the opposition cannot grasp that, it is little wonder they are a long way away from ever forming government here in the ACT.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Pratt.
MR PRATT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, when you made this statement were you misleading the Assembly or were you misled by someone else—
MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that imputation.
Mrs Dunne: No. You can ask whether he was misleading the Assembly.
MR SPEAKER: There is an imputation there that somebody has misled the Assembly.
Mr Seselja: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Where in the standing orders does it say that he is not allowed to ask the question? There are only two possible outcomes here. He is asking the question whether he was misled or whether he was misleading. Now, he is not saying he is misleading. It is up to the minister to answer that. I do not see the unreasonable imputation in such a question.
MR SPEAKER: I have to judge the atmospherics here, Mr Seselja, and the imputation is that somebody has misled the Assembly. I will not permit those imputations. The most serious charge that you can lay upon a member is to impute that they in some way misled the Assembly. I ask you to withdraw that.
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I do withdraw that.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR PRATT: My question is: minister, when you misled the community about the veracity of the FireLink issue, do you claim that you were misled yourself? If so, by whom?
MR CORBELL: I claim none of those things; nor do I accept the assertion by Mr Pratt that I misled the community. The information I provided to the Assembly was based on the advice I received from my department. As I said in my answer to Mr Pratt's previous question, when the circumstances and facts change and when new information is put before you about the adequacy or otherwise of a government program service or piece of infrastructure, you make decisions based on that. That is what I did in relation to FireLink.
When the consultants came to me and said, "There are major problems,"what am I meant to do? Am I meant to say, "No, no. I have said in the Assembly that there is no