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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3674 ..


This debate should be brought on today and resolved before the end of the sitting. We have got two days to go. People are vitally interested in this. My office is regularly contacted by people who want to know when the report is due and what is going on. The only way that they can now find out about what was said in this report is for us to have this debate tonight so that people can know where the government really does stand, so that the Chief Minister can answer why he refused to attend, so that we can find out why questions still remain unanswered and so that we can get to the bottom of what happened so that those mistakes are not repeated again.

We do not need Mr Corbell to rewrite the practice. He has shown already that he does not understand the practice and just picks and chooses what suits him. We need to have the Chief Minister come down and give answers. The Chief Minister tried to use government funds to fight the coroner. When the coroner crossed the line—the supposed line—the Chief Minister said that the matter had become political and he tried to shut the coroner down. He said: “This is political. I will answer in the political arena.”

Well, this is the political arena. If you are not afraid of what you have done, if you are not afraid of what you have said and if you are not afraid of your actions being held to account, you will have this debate tonight. This shows that the Chief Minister is afraid to answer the questions. The Chief Minister is afraid to be held accountable. The Chief Minister does not want to be held up to scrutiny. On the day of the election in 2004, he said, “There is nothing to fear from majority government,” because he would be, as was said so often in the lead-up to becoming Chief Minister, more honest, more open and more accountable.

There is nothing honest or open or accountable in refusing to appear before a committee. There is nothing honest or open or accountable in refusing to appear this evening in this place and have the debate. It is not honest, open or accountable simply to use your numbers in this way to stymie the efforts of the community to get to the bottom of this fire. (Time expired.)

Question put:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the order of the day, Assembly business, relating to Report 8 of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs, being called on forthwith.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 10

Mrs Burke

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Seselja

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.


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