Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Monday, 15 August 2022) . . Page.. 2494 ..
Legislative Assembly—work health safety notice
Statement by Speaker
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, today the Chair of the Select Committee on Estimates 2022-23 gave written notice of an apparent serious breach of the privilege in respect of actions taken by the Work Health and Safety Commissioner in purportedly preventing not just the select committee’s performance of scrutiny functions but of all Assembly committees.
Under the provisions of standing order 276, I must determine, as soon as practicable, whether or not the matter merits precedent over other business. If, in my opinion, the matter does merit precedence, I must inform the Assembly of the decision and the member who raised the matter may move a motion without notice forthwith to refer the matter to a select committee appointed by the Assembly for that purpose.
As Speaker, I am not required to judge whether there be a breach of privilege or contempt; I can only judge whether it merits precedence. I have considered the matter and am prepared to allow precedence to the motion to establish a privileges commission committee, should Mr Milligan wish to do so. I present the following paper:
Privilege—Alleged breach—Letter from the Chair of the Select Committee on Estimates 2022-2023 to the Speaker, dated 15 August 2022.
Privileges 2022—Select Committee
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (10.25): I move:
(1) pursuant to standing order 276, a Select Committee on Privileges 2022 be established to examine whether there has been a breach of privilege relating to the actions of the Work Health and Safety Commissioner and any other person, and whether they have improperly interfered with the free exercise of the authority of the Select Committee on Estimates 2022-2023 or breached any other privileges of the Assembly;
(2) the Privileges Committee shall report back to the Assembly by the last sitting day of October 2022;
(3) the Committee shall be composed of:
(a) Ms Orr MLA;
(b) Mr Hanson MLA; and
(c) Ms Clay MLA; and
(4) The chair of the Committee shall be Mr Hanson MLA.
I have noticed that Ms Orr has circulated an amendment to this motion to have herself replaced with Mr Pettersson, which the Canberra Liberals will be supporting. There has been an additional amendment circulated by Mr Gentleman, suggesting that point (4) of my original motion be removed, being Mr Hanson not being chair.