Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 548 ..
discussion”. That is from the Companion to the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.03): Mr Speaker, consistent with your statement, I move:
That the Members so nominated be appointed as members of the Select Committee on Privileges 2010.
Mr Speaker, today you have drawn to the Assembly’s attention the fact that the nomination of Mrs Dunne is without precedent in the history of this Assembly given that she is the person who has raised the complaint that has led to the establishment of the privileges committee.
The government has been cognisant of the fact that a number of its members are close to or have a responsibility for areas relating to the areas that Mr Sullivan is responsible for. For that reason, I was not nominated on the privileges committee, as I am the portfolio minister for water and I have regular dealings with Mr Sullivan. Equally, other ministers, such as Ms Gallagher and the Chief Minister, have direct ministerial responsibilities that see them engaged with Mr Sullivan on a regular basis. For that reason, the government nominated Mr Barr, given that he does not have any direct ministerial or other engagement with Mr Sullivan.
Of course, the issue does not arise in relation to Ms Bresnan as the Greens member. But the issue clearly does arise in relation to Mrs Dunne. Mrs Dunne has made a series of statements, publicly and in this place, about what her view of the matter is; and she is also the instigator of the privileges process.
Given your advice, Mr Speaker, and given your statement today, I would suggest that, when the Assembly comes to vote on this matter, the question be divided and the Assembly vote on the membership of each member separately. I would invite the opposition to perhaps avoid the necessity for doing that by withdrawing Mrs Dunne’s nomination and nominating another member who does not face this same conflict, which has been drawn to the Assembly’s attention by the Speaker.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.06): I hear the statement that you have made, Mr Speaker. I draw members’ attention to page 747 of the House of Representatives Practice in relation to membership of the Standing Committee on Privileges in the House of Representatives. It says:
A member may be discharged from the committee and another appointed in his or her place for the consideration of particular inquiries … This may occur if a member of the committee has raised the matter being inquired into in the House …
In House of Representatives Practice, there is no overriding injunction that a member who raises a matter should not be a member of the committee. That is the only reference in House of Representatives Practice that I can find on this issue. I cannot find an instance where it actually says that it is practice for a member who raises an issue to stand aside.