Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 609..
MR SPEAKER: Yes.
Mrs Dunne: The Assembly specifically voted yesterday to not include Ms Gallagher in the inquiry. There was a specific vote on that subject. Therefore I think that there is no inquiry in train in relation to Ms Gallagher's role. I think therefore that it would be reasonable to reconsider your—
Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Stanhope.
Mr Stanhope: The question made an assertion around what Mr Doszpot purports to be facts. They are facts that have not been established. They are facts that, if they are to be established, will be established by the privileges committee. The entire preamble of the question was around an interpretation of evidence given by Mr Sullivan to a committee. The privileges committee actually will determine whether or not it was Mr Sullivan, or indeed Mrs Dunne, that misled the committee. Those are claims that are yet to be tested before the privileges committee. The entire basis of the question involves an assertion of facts that we simply do not accept. So your ruling is entirely appropriate and correct, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, the reason for my pause was to think about exactly the point you were making. Having reflected on it for the time I had available, my view is that the committee will have to look at the entire circumstances, including Mr Sullivan's role, as well as Ms Gallagher having the potential to be called as a witness. On that basis, I have formed the view that Mr Doszpot's question is out of order.
Mr Smyth: So when would it be appropriate to ask Ms Gallagher questions about her activities as the Treasurer? The Assembly decided yesterday that she would not be the subject of the inquiry. Could you rule or at least tell us when it is appropriate to ask such a question?
MR SPEAKER: I will give that some further consideration, but my initial response would be that, whilst we have a privileges committee on this matter, it does preclude questions.
Mr Smyth: I thank you for what you say, but the privileges committee is not looking at Ms Gallagher's activity. Privileges committees are quite accurate in what they do. I seek your guidance. On the basis of that, if the planning minister is to appear before the planning committee for any matter, does that exclude us from asking the planning minister questions? I would like an interpretation or an explanation of your application of that ruling.
MR SPEAKER: As I said, Mr Smyth, in my answer to Mrs Dunne I gave some indication. I have given you some further indication. I will come back with further advice. But I think the distinction you draw with the example from Mr Barr is more general. In this case, we have a very specific matter before the privileges committee and I think it is quite possible to draw that distinction.