Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 552 ..
Mr Stanhope: Well, will you review the Hansard, please, Mr Speaker, in relation to that matter in due course?
MR SPEAKER: I will. I am pretty sure I heard Mr Smyth correctly, but for your confidence, Mr Stanhope, I will check the Hansard.
Mr Stanhope: Thank you.
MR SMYTH: I know this hurts the Chief Minister. He talks about equity and justice and he talks about integrity of the process, but he is the man that allowed his party to nominate Mr Corbell for the last privileges committee when Mr Corbell had said it was basically going to be a kangaroo court. Now, if that is Jon Stanhope’s notion of integrity of the process, if that is Jon Stanhope’s notion of equity and justice, then he has got a very poor understanding of both the issues of equity and justice.
Indeed, it flew against the standard practice of this place to actually have a minister on that sort of committee, let alone any committee at all. If we are going to start quoting the companion to the standing orders then members might look at paragraph 16.59 where it says that it is not the normal practice to have a minister on a committee. Indeed, in the last sentence it says:
However, during the Fifth Assembly a Minister was appointed as a member of the Select Committee on Privileges.
You have to ask why one of the two members of the Labor Party backbench cannot be on this committee. Mr Hargreaves just made the case for it. He actually said: “I can’t be on it because I sat in cabinet. I’ve seen these documents. I’m on the committee. I know about this stuff.” On the same basis, Mr Barr should not be on this committee, because Mr Barr sat in the same cabinet where those decisions were made. Indeed, Mr Barr was the minister who called in the dam. He is an integral part of the process in dealing with the dam project.
So if you go to paragraph 16.59, it really does explain that the standard procedure is not to have a minister on committees at all. We all appreciate that the Assembly is small in numbers and it is often difficult for governments; it has been difficult over time. But there is a member who is quite free to be on this committee from the Labor Party, and that is, of course, Ms Porter, who has not been in cabinet and has not been part of this process.
Mr Corbell: I think you are arguing against your own nomination.
MR SMYTH: No, no, no, I am arguing against your nomination, Mr Corbell, and the hypocrisy of the Labor Party on this issue. It was hypocrisy in the last appointment when an individual who said it was going to be a kangaroo court then became part of the process. If that is Mr Stanhope’s idea of equity and justice then it shows him up for not being committed to the principles which he espouses. But the point is this: there is to be a committee, and this Assembly often does things that are not the same as other jurisdictions. But if you want to lay the charge against the Liberal Party then