Page 1789 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022
of insults, suggestions that the minister breached legislation. That is what we have just heard from the Mr Milligan, whose understanding of the Government Procurement Act is mind-boggling. If he thinks that ministers should be vetting procurements, that is to suggest, Mr Milligan, that ministers break the law. What we have heard this morning, if it was repeated outside this chamber, would see a number of members facing defamation action. It is outrageous. There is a reasonable point to raise here about these contracts. But what we have seen this morning—the tone of it, the personal attacks on the minister’s integrity—is a massive overreach.
Ms Lee interjecting—
MR BARR: The constant interjections of the Leader of the Opposition reflect her insecurity and her glass jaw. You have just spent 10 minutes throwing insults at my colleague and you cannot help but interject every 15 seconds. You have already been thrown out of this place in this sitting fortnight. You missed your former deputy’s valedictory because you were suspended from this place, so let us not have another sanctimonious lecture from you about integrity.
Ms Lee interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Lee!
MR BARR: Let us not have another sanctimonious lecture from you about integrity. You were well within your rights to raise the issues you did in question time yesterday, and in the formal motion that you moved, but that you voted against referring this matter to the Auditor-General speaks volumes that this is all politics, all about the minister and all about trying to get a ministerial scalp—and so little about integrity in procurement. Your approach this morning has laid bare that this is all just politics, and it is that that is the most disappointing element.
The minister has responded appropriately at various stages throughout this process, including yesterday and including again this morning, in meeting the information requests that you have made and in providing information on what he did and when, and the information that he received back. The idea that ministers would be involved in writing tenders, assessing tenders, or writing contracts or vetting them, as Mr Milligan has suggested, would be a breach of the law. It is astonishing that we are having this debate about what level of involvement ministers have in procurement. It is very clear, and outlined in the law of the territory. I advise members opposite, before they come in here and hurl insults at a minister and suggest that the minister should be breaking the law, to read the law.
What is very clear in relation to the operation of the CIT, as outlined in the legislation, is where ministerial directions are to be provided and how that is done. That is outlined in section 7 of the act. A ministerial direction is a notifiable instrument, notified under the Legislation Act, and must be presented in this place within five sitting days. So that is the basis on which the minister would give a direction and the process in which the minister would do so, outlined in the act.