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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012-2013 Week 1 Hansard (29 November) . . Page.. 301..


MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, could you repeat the question, please.

Mr Seselja: Sorry, just before he does, Madam Speaker, if I may, going again to the precedents in this place in relation to questions, is Mr Corbell really arguing that there is never any sense of argument in any question that is put to a minister? All questions in one form or another have some form of argument in them and some form of proposition that is put to a minister. If questions are going to be ruled out of order on the basis that they put forward an argument, that will be ridiculous and would put an unreasonable restraint on questions to ministers.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, could you repeat the question, please.

Mr Corbell: Madam Speaker—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, could you sit down, please. Could you repeat the question, please, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Do you want it all or just the last paragraph? Why do I not read it all?

Chief Minister, during question time on Tuesday you were asked when you had decided to amalgamate Treasury and the Chief Minister's department and whether there would be job losses. You stated that you made the decision "prior to the announcement being made."Chief Minister, given that your previous statements to the community include, "There will be no school closures,"when you closed 23 schools and, "All our health plans are on the table,"when they clearly were not, how do you expect the community to reach any other conclusion than that your statement was deliberately evasive and tricky, that you had made this decision before the election and, once again, you had not told the community your real plans?

MADAM SPEAKER: I cannot see that there are arguments in there. There are statements. However, I would, in the spirit of being as impartial as I can, call upon Mr Smyth to consider changing the language where you used the words "tricky"and something else.

MR SMYTH: "Tricky"and "evasive".

MADAM SPEAKER: I think that "tricky"and "evasive"come close to impugning people's character, and I would ask you to rephrase the question.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, no, you need to rephrase the question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, how do you expect the community to reach any other conclusion than that your statement was deliberately withholding the full story that you had made the decision before the election and, once again, you had not told the community your real plans?


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