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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 557 ..

their rank hypocrisy when we know that they will soon be chairing a committee to examine the budget which they have already ticked off on. They will be apparently inquiring into that budget with an open mind but they are committed at the end of that process to passing it no matter how bad it is, no matter what is in the budget, no matter how ridiculous this budget is. It could send us into deficit; it could cut services; it could do any number of things, but they will pass it.

They have committed to pass it. They have committed to passing it but, no, we can trust Ms Hunter, apparently, to bring an open mind to it and to ask the hard questions because she is different. Ms Hunter is different from Mrs Dunne. She can put aside her apparent conflicts. It is breathtaking. It is absolutely breathtaking, the hypocrisy that we are seeing from the Labor Party and the Greens.

This is a stitch-up because they do not want Mrs Dunne on the committee. That is what this comes down to. They do not want Mrs Dunne on the committee for whatever reason. It will be seen for what it is. They are taking out an experienced parliamentary performer who will have subject matter knowledge and be able to ask key questions. They are saying that they do not want her on that committee. Yet Ms Hunter can chair the estimates committee, having signed off on the budget.

Mr Barr, who was part of the cabinet, can sit on the committee. Mr Corbell, who calls it a kangaroo court, can sit on the committee. But, no, apparently there is only a conflict when it is a Liberal member. It is an outrageous argument. It has not passed the first hurdle, particularly when Mr Hargreaves got up and highlighted the hypocrisy of Mr Barr being on the committee.

Mr Speaker, we will not be supporting the splitting. If the motion is split we will vote in favour of Mrs Dunne. If the Greens have any integrity on this, if they are going to vote against Mrs Dunne, they should also vote against Mr Barr being on the committee because he is a member of the cabinet.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (10.36): I would just like to put on the record that to ensure procedural fairness is seen to be done as well as actually done, I believe it is inappropriate that I sit on the privileges committee. I heard my name being thrown around by those opposite. I made the decision, as you well know, to give the matter precedence.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.37): Despite all the bluster we have heard from the Liberal Party this morning, they cannot escape the fact that there is precedence in House of Representatives Practice when it comes to whether or not a member making an accusation in relation to privilege should then hear the matter. That is the question before us today.

There is precedence. There is precedence in House of Representatives Practice. House of Representatives Practice is one of our guiding documents where our standing orders are otherwise silent. That is the fact of the matter and that is what the Liberals have failed to grasp.

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