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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5665..


MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. What I am doing here is setting in context why there needs to be a higher level of respect for Assembly committees than we have previously experienced. You will recall, Mr Assistant Speaker, that the estimates committee report on the 2007-08 budget was moved to make substantial comments on your behaviour. I will quote a little of that. The committee said:

The committee is concerned about the conduct of the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services during some of the hearings. At times the Minister was less than respectful to certain members of the Committee—

that is the term used in this motion—

during questioning. The Committee reminds Ministers that, under the Ministerial Code of Conduct, Ministers have an obligation to 'recognise the importance of full and true disclosure and accountability to the Parliament' as well as having respect for persons.

The report went on to say:

... the Code of Conduct states that, 'in the discharge of his or her public duties, a Minister will not dishonestly or recklessly attack the reputation of any person.

That is something that Mr Corbell could have thought about the other day. It continued:

During the hearings—

Mr Corbell: Point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker.

Mr Seselja: Can we stop the clock again, Mr Assistant Speaker?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

Mr Corbell: Mr Assistant Speaker, Mrs Dunne has just suggested that I attacked somebody in a dishonest manner.

Mrs Dunne: Disrespectful, actually, but yes.

Mr Corbell: Well, disrespectful and dishonest, I think was the language that was used, and that is an imputation. It is unparliamentary. She knows that. You have already warned her about it and I would simply ask that the comment be withdrawn and Mrs Dunne try to confine herself to the standing orders in this place.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, I would ask you to withdraw any imputation of dishonesty by the minister. If not, I think, as I have warned already, that you are getting very close to that particular offence under the standing orders. I would ask you to be particularly careful and to withdraw that comment, please.

MRS DUNNE: I withdraw any imputation of dishonesty that may have been implied in respect of the minister, but I think it is interesting to note that I just drew the


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