Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2478 ..
MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, if Ms Gallagher would let me finish.
Ms Gallagher: Join the dots.
MR SESELJA: I am joining the dots. We have joined the dots.
Ms Gallagher: And!
MR SPEAKER: Order, Ms Gallagher!
MR SESELJA: The Oxford dictionary defines “misleading” as “causing to err or go astray, imprecise, confusing. “Mislead” is defied as, “Cause a person to go wrong in conduct, belief, et cetera.” The question we asked in estimates on 31 May was, “Has it been established?” The minister came back on 7 June and said, “Yes, it has been established, don’t worry about it. We’ve taken care of it.” But when we asked the question it had not been established.
I will give an example of a similar situation. If the Chief Minister had been asked in estimates whether he employed anyone who was being charged with, say, graffiti offences and he took it on notice on 1 April and if on 2 April he went away and sacked the relevant person and came back on 3 April and said, “In answer to your question on notice, no, I do not employ anyone charged with graffiti offences,” that would be ridiculous, that would be misleading, because the committee wanted to know of the position at the time. The relevant issue for Ms Gallagher was whether, at the time we were asking her, the working group that had been recommended nine months before had been established. The answer was no. It was established the next day, as soon as it came to light in the estimates process—
Ms Gallagher: The answer was, “I don’t know.”
MR SPEAKER: Order!
Ms Gallagher: Mr Seselja is accusing me of misleading the estimates committee, Mr Speaker. That is what he is arguing. He is misrepresenting quite significantly what I said at estimates and I think that he should be made to correct those statements and withdraw the imputation that I have been misleading.
MR SESELJA: You will have to point out how I am misrepresenting you.
MR SPEAKER: It is a serious matter to suggest that somebody has misled the estimates committee. I think you had better withdraw that and not persist with that line.
MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, the motion, of which there was notice, refers to “the misleading and evasive answers provided to questions on notice by the minister in relation to this issue”. That is what we are talking about here. Ms Gallagher could have objected earlier. I think she would have found that the Clerk would have said that it was quite appropriate.