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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1966..

questions to ask in here, we expect that ministers will not hide behind spurious arguments not to answer questions. That is what Ms Burch did. She concocted a story that Mrs Dunne was somehow lying or not telling the truth. She concocted a story so she would not have to answer the question. I think it would be reasonable

Members interjecting —

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Stop the clocks, thank you. Mr Seselja has the floor. I expect to be able to hear him.

MR SESELJA: Whether it is done by Ms Burch, by Mr Corbell or by any of the other ministers, I think it is important that we as an Assembly say that ministers should not be able to hide behind concoctions in order not to answer questions in question time. That should be a principle that non-executive members in this place hold dearly. For the Greens, through Ms Hunter, to acknowledge that they often do concoct reasons and they often do not answer questions but say, "We will not actually hold them to account,"when we can, I think is regrettable.

What we should be doing is actually saying that Ms Hunter is very sensitive on this. What we should actually be doing is sending a very clear message that whether it is public art, health or education, in any areas of public interest where we are asking questions we expect that ministers will not play these kinds of games. If we send this message to them, perhaps other ministers will not engage in these kinds of games in question time in the future.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6: Mr Coe Mr Doszpot Mrs Dunne Mr Hanson Mr Seselja Mr Smyth

Noes 11: Mr Barr Dr Bourke Ms Bresnan Ms Burch Mr Corbell Ms Gallagher Mr Hargreaves Ms Hunter Ms Le Couteur Ms Porter Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the negative.

Canberra Hospital—emergency department data

Paper and statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: For the information of members, I present the following paper:

The Canberra Hospital—Performance audit—Emergency Department performance information—Copy of letter to the Speaker from the Auditor-General, dated 3 May 2012.

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