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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4027..


Wednesday, 13 December 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure; Dr Foskey

Motion of censure; expression of grave concern

MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning): I seek leave to move a motion of censure against Mr Seselja.

Leave not granted.

Standing orders—suspension

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (10.32): I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Corbell from moving a motion of censure against Mr Seselja and an expression of grave concern against Dr Foskey.

This morning the government wishes to move a motion of censure against Mr Seselja for his misleading and untrue claims concerning the sale of block 8, section 48, Fyshwick. These are serious matters. In the past, whenever a censure motion has been moved or an attempt has been made to move a censure motion against a minister in this place the government has always granted leave for that to occur.

Equally, whenever the opposition has sought to move a motion of no confidence in a government member that request has always been granted. Today, when the boot is on the other foot, when the government is seeking to censure a member of the opposition for his or her failure appropriately to have regard to the processes of this place, the first reaction we get from the Liberal Party is, "No, we do not want to debate it."

Opposition members are not prepared to face up to these serious claims. They now need to tell the Canberra community why they made false and misleading claims and why they continued to do so even when an Auditor-General's report found that they were wrong. This morning opposition members should be granting leave for this censure motion to be moved. Their failure to do that—

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Corbell is debating the issue. He said Mr Seselja is wrong, which is not a reason for suspending standing orders.

MR CORBELL: That is not a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: I do not think that is a point of order, Mrs Dunne. I make the point that we do not need to drift too far into the debate. The reasons for the suspension are important.


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