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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4163..


Tuesday, 18 November 2003

Mr Speaker (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Privileges-Select Committee

Report

MS DUNDAS (10.32): Pursuant to order, I present the following report:

Privileges-Select Committee-Report-Possible unauthorised dissemination of committee material, standing order 71 (Privilege), Minister's refusal to answer questions in committee hearing and distribution of ACT Health document, including a dissenting report, dated 3 November 2003, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to move a motion authorising the publication of the report.

Leave granted.

MS DUNDAS: I move:

That the report be authorised for publication.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MS DUNDAS: I move:

That the report be noted.

I will be brief in speaking to the tabling of this report. It is only a brief report, considering the number of issues that we were looking at, but there were some things that came together as we looked at the four different issues.

I believe that the inquiry we undertook illustrated that, within both members of this Assembly and the public service, there is little understanding of the actuality of the powers and privileges of the Legislative Assembly. If there is an understanding of those powers and privileges, there is not a lot of respect for how they actually operate and the role of this Assembly in the ACT. That is of great concern and is something that needs to be addressed. I believe that the recommendations lead to that by putting in place a more cohesive understanding of the role of the Assembly and how it operates and trying to generate more respect for the procedures and practices.

I will now go through the four main issues into which the committee was tasked with inquiring. The first was to examine whether there was a breach of privilege and whether a contempt had been committed in relation to the dissemination of information to the ABC. Of course, that was going to be a difficult question to look at, considering the


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