Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 1199..
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
Public Accounts—Standing Committee
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition): I seek leave to make a brief statement in relation to the Auditor-General's letter to the public accounts committee.
Leave not granted.
Standing and temporary orders—suspension
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.02): I move:
That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Seselja from making a statement concerning a letter to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts from the Auditor-General.
It is not surprising that Mr Corbell does not want to give leave. What I intended to do—I will not read the statement now—was to put on notice and draw the Assembly's attention to the letter from the Auditor-General to the public accounts committee and give Mr Corbell the opportunity to respond so that the Assembly could consider its position.
In that letter, the Auditor-General makes a number of claims in relation to the Attorney-General, makes a number of claims in relation to statements made by the Attorney-General, and, indeed, makes a claim that one of the statements at least is misleading. This is a serious claim. We wanted to give the Attorney-General the opportunity to respond to that, so that the Assembly could consider it. That is why we should be given leave and that is why standing orders should be suspended—so that I can read the statement and Mr Corbell, the Attorney-General, can have the opportunity to respond to that statement.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.03): We have got ourselves bogged down in this place in fairly childish tit-for-tat about leave. Mr Corbell was notified about Mr Seselja's desire to seek leave. In fact, the debate about whether or not we should suspend standing orders will take much longer than, I gather, Mr Seselja's statement would take. It is a waste of time, and it is truculence on the part of the government, who do know the reasons why Mr Seselja sought leave, because my staff spoke to Mr Corbell's staff earlier in the day about the background to this.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.04): I am speaking here partly as Caroline Le Couteur, Green, but also as Caroline Le Couteur, chair of the PAC, which is where the various statements were made.