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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 459 ..

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.34): I will just speak briefly to this. We will not be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment to my amendment. It goes to comments we have made also about Ms Gallagher. What we should be debating here today is the substance of what was stated before a committee by a witness. In the whole debate today we have moved away from that completely, I think, by including Ms Gallagher and by including Mrs Dunne. This motion should have been about what the standing orders state—that a witness that comes before a committee has to provide truthful evidence. That is what we should be debating and that is what this privileges committee should be about.

We support the action taken by Mrs Dunne to investigate the specific issue of a breach of privilege and, indeed, a matter of contempt of the committee, but we do not believe this should be an opportunity for a free-for-all fishing expedition into other major water projects and ministers—indeed, all members of this place. It should have been about the substance of the comments which were made by Mr Sullivan. We have already spoken about that.

In relation to other water projects, there has been a lot of public debate around the cost of the Cotter Dam. It has been examined by both estimates and public accounts committees so there have been avenues for that to happen. As I said, the specific issue we are discussing here today is a breach of privilege in the Assembly. That is what the terms of reference should be focusing on. The question that needed to be answered was: did Mr Sullivan provide misleading evidence to the estimates committee last May? That is the extent of what the terms of reference of the committee should be. It is also the extent to which we should be discussing the issues in the Assembly today.

It is unfortunate that we have gone completely off track as to the substance of the issue. We have meandered into other issues which are not appropriate to be discussing in this forum. It is disappointing that that has happened today. We will not be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment. Likewise, as I have already said, we will not be supporting Ms Gallagher being included in the motion.

Question put:

That Mr Corbell’s amendments to Ms Bresnan’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 9

Mr Barr

Mr Stanhope

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Ms Burch

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Question so resolved in the negative.

MR SPEAKER: The question now is that Ms Bresnan’s amendment to Mrs Dunne’s motion be agreed to.

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