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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3908..

Mr Hargreaves (continuing):

I would like you to rule on it. I would hate to see something flow out of this as a result of that. I do not want to interrupt Mrs Dunne's position, but I think she is running very close to breaching standing orders in the resolution of this. I would just like to give her a reasonable and well-intentioned piece of advice.

MR SPEAKER: The standing orders are clear. I refer to the resolution of the continuing effect, passed on 4 May 1995. At paragraph 5 it goes on to say:

...shall not publish a submission referred to under this resolution or its proceedings in relation to such a submission, but it may present minutes of its proceedings and all or part of such submission to the Assembly.

As chair of the committee, there was no decision to publish all or part of the submission in the Assembly. It would be inappropriate for a committee member to, in some way, publish the submission by various references to the submission by the person. Mrs Dunne, I would warn you that we are all constrained by that particular clause in the resolution. If means were used, however well-calculated, to expose the extent of the submission I think the Speaker would have to consider it a breach of clause 5 if the submission is in some way exposed, unless the committee had made such a decision; and it has not.

MRS DUNNE (11.20): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I understand that, and I will be guided by you. If you feel that I have overstepped the mark, feel free to jump in. I think I referred to some of the things that Mr Burke did not say in his submission. Does saying what is not there draw attention to what is there?


Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order: to assist Mrs Dunne, why I leapt to my feet was that she used the phrase, "Mr Burke contended that". That is just to clear up the point.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. I should rephrase that. Mr Burke could contend that those words implied that he was inglorious and dishonourable. It does not matter who this person was; it was the mere fact that it was a member of the public. I am sure it would be easier for us all if none of us knew the person who made an application, but we have to put that aside. That is why in my comments I have drawn attention to the fact that most-I am sure that all of the members in this place know who Mr Burke is-of the members of the committee have some interest in Mr Burke and Mr Burke's past business enterprises. We do not have to say that we have a conflict of interest, but we have to state the interest out there so people know where we are coming from.

Before Mr Hargreaves took the point of order I was making the point that many of the comments made by the minister on that occasion reflected very badly upon a member of the public. There are a variety of ways by which members of the public can seek redress. Mrs Burke could have stood up here and defended herself in this place. That might have been one way of doing it but, by doing that, Mrs Burke is not in a position to defend Mr Burke, who is an individual in his own right. As an individual in his own right, irrespective of his relationship with a member of this place, he is entitled to the

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