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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 556 ..


examining the budget will have ticked off on the budget. It is in the parliamentary agreement. They will tick off on it. If it was a blank piece of paper and it said “please turn over” they would tick off on it.

We can go to all of the conflicts that are in a small parliament. We saw the position of Mr Corbell. Mr Corbell was on the last privileges committee after having slammed the process. He said that it was a political witch-hunt. He said it had no merit. He argued it had no merit. Yet he was on the committee that made determinations as to whether there was a breach of privilege.

We have got Mr Barr being nominated by the Labor Party despite being part of the cabinet that would have been briefed throughout the process. Mr Hargreaves said that he had a conflict in asking questions of ACTEW on this process. But Mr Barr, who is a member of the same cabinet, apparently can be part of this committee.

The argument that has been put forward and accepted by the Labor Party and the Greens is that there is a conflict for Mrs Dunne because, in Mr Hargreaves words, she raised allegations and because she made public statements. We have had public statements right across the board.

In the last privileges committee we had Mr Corbell making public statements. In fact, Ms Bresnan is part of the party whose spokesman has made comments about this. Is there a conflict there? These apparent conflicts that are being argued by the Labor Party in this place today, and being accepted by the Greens, would essentially conflict virtually anyone out.

Mr Smyth and I were on the estimates committee where the information was given. Mr Smyth and I were on that estimates committee. Would we be conflicted? We have got members of the cabinet who are going to be part of the process and have been part of the process. As Mr Smyth has pointed out, if we are going to go to practice, the practice is not for ministers to be on committees. That is not the practice. That has not been the practice in this place until recently and it has not been the practice in most other parliaments for ministers to be on committees.

The conflicts and the hypocrisy of the argument that has been put forward by the government on this matter are breathtaking. It is breathtaking hypocrisy to claim that Mrs Dunne has a conflict that Mr Corbell did not have or Mr Barr did not have—or, indeed, a number of other members potentially would not have.

Mr Speaker, we will not be supporting the splitting out of these nominations. If these nominations are split I would say to the Greens and to the Labor Party that if they are going to vote against Mrs Dunne being on the committee, as it appears they are, they should also be voting against Mr Barr being on the committee. Mr Barr should not be on this committee as he has a conflict. Mr Hargreaves has highlighted that he believes there is a conflict. Mr Hargreaves has put it on the record that members of the cabinet have a conflict on this issue.

So the Labor Party and the Greens, if they vote to accept the Labor Party nomination and not the Liberal Party nomination, will be showing their bias and will be showing


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