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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 2062..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Finally, its production would significantly undermine the continued effective operation of the government.

Yes, it would if the report was inaccurate and the conclusions that came from it were false. Yes, that would undermine the government, because it would show them up for the farce of a government that they are. But it also says, "We can receive reports that are not subject to challenge by other experts."I do not know how much of an expert Mr Costello is in government. I know that he wrote a similar report for WA that did not give the savings that they expected. Yet, in some of the documents, Mr Costello is quoted as being an expert.

It is interesting that we can get reports that are written knowing that they will never be challenged. Therefore, you have to question the validity and the strength of that report. It is interesting that Crispin Hull wrote this in his opinion piece on 28 March this year:

Other spurious reasons are given for non-release. The classic is that, if they know advice is to become public, public servants will not make it frank and fearless. But the corollary of that is frightening: if the public is to know about these policy options, then we must not be frank and fearless: we must lie, mislead, sugar-coat.

That is the problem. That is why, if you accept—and I can understand that Justice Street would take this assuming that he was dealing with an honourable government:

Finally, its production would significantly undermine the continued effective operation of the government.

If it is the truth, and it is accurate, then it does not undermine the government. That of its own volition cannot undermine a government. What use is made of it and the decisions that spring from it might undermine a government that have twisted and abused and lied or cheated; but the report of its own nature, if it is accurate, cannot do that.

Mr Corbell: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, resume your seat.

MR SMYTH: If we could stop the clock, please, Madam Speaker.

Mr Corbell: Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr Smyth made the assertion that the government had lied and cheated. That is a reflection on me and on my colleagues. It is unparliamentary and I ask him to withdraw it.

MR SMYTH: On the point of order, I actually did not say that. I said that a government might or could; I did not say this government did. I did not use the words "this government did".

Mr Corbell: No. You were clearly talking about—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, resume your seat please.


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