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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 6 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 2074..


MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):

After consideration, the committee resolved to make no further inquiries into the report. However, the committee will consider the general lessons with respect to project implementation and management as part of future inquiries.

Facebook website

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (12.12), by leave: I move:

That the Leader of the Opposition table by close of business today all documents relating to the investigation conducted by the Liberal Opposition into the creation of a fraudulent "Facebook"website defaming the Deputy Chief Minister.

The government has reluctantly taken this step today of calling on the Leader of the Opposition to table, by the close of business today, all documents relating to the investigation conducted by the Liberal Party into the creation of a fraudulent Facebook website defaming the Deputy Chief Minister.

Members would be aware that a website was created which purported to be a website of the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Gallagher, which sought to defame her and, in fact, did defame her by depicting her, in the Deputy Chief Minister's words, as the "proverbial dumb blonde". It sought to ridicule the relationship she has with her partner, it misrepresented her political views and it disparaged her as a woman.

We are aware that this is a matter which the Leader of the Opposition has said he has conducted an inquiry into. He has sought to dismiss the allegations made against Liberal Party members in relation to this matter by saying that an investigation has concluded that there are no links with the Liberal Party. We want to see the proof of these claims. This is a serious matter. This is one of the most scurrilous, disparaging, deeply personal and vile attacks against a member of this place that we have ever seen.

The Liberal Party need to demonstrate the basis upon which they have concluded that there is no evidence to link members of the Liberal Party with this vile and disgraceful attack on the Deputy Chief Minister. That is what this motion does today. It simply asks the Leader of the Opposition to table all documents relating to the investigation that he conducted so that members can be satisfied that the Liberal Party has fully and appropriately investigated this matter.

Let us turn to some of the issues here. The website clearly does involve members of the Liberal Party. The website, which has now been removed by the Facebook administrators—not by the person who established it, I note, but by the Facebook administrators—has, as its confirmed guests, a number of people clearly associated with the Liberal Party, including at least one person who has worked for a member of the Liberal Party here in this place. We note, of course, that Mr Seselja himself is displayed on this website. Indeed, we note also that Mr Seselja's chief-of-staff is also clearly identified as being involved in some way with this website.

This is a matter where the Liberal Party need to put beyond doubt—beyond doubt—that they have taken proper heed of the disgust which is felt by many members in this


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