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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 687 ..


Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, that is not the way that an assertion about a member misleading the Assembly is constructed. The motion refers to misleading information; it does not say that I misled. Mr Smyth, if you believe I misled, move a motion censuring me for misleading the Assembly. Get on with it and do it. You have not; nor have you said that I am misleading this place. Nor have you said that I have misled the Assembly.

Mr Seselja: This is pathetic semantics.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, one minute. There is no point of order. Clerk, restart the clock.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. That is my concern. Ministerial responsibility says that you must do something. As is pointed out quite accurately in the motion by the Leader of the Opposition, this is about:

(g) the failure of the Attorney-General to protect adequately from, and warn Canberrans about, the dangers of poorly installed insulation; and

(h) the misleading information provided to the Assembly by the Attorney-General in relation to documents held by the ACT Government …

Madam Assistant Speaker, this is a worthy motion. It is a motion worthy of support, because it is what the people of the ACT expect from their politicians. They expect their politicians to act on their behalf, not to hide behind public servants and say, “I am not responsible.” When it is brought to your attention, you must act; you must act appropriately.

We all know the reason why we have this problem today. It is because the federal government did not do their work. They rolled this out; they were in a hurry. People are now paying a dreadful price as a consequence of it. The finance minister, Lindsay Tanner, said, “I do not think it is right to say that we should have sat back dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, because we were in a crisis situation.”

That is the sort of statement Mr Corbell is supporting by rejecting this motion tonight. And then there are Swan and Tanner in the updated economic and fiscal outlook:

The insulation program is expected to create a significant number of new Australian jobs. These jobs require limited retraining … so the benefits to the community can be realised quickly.

One of the benefits announced tonight, if members have not heard, is a $41 million fund to assist those the federal government have just made unemployed—$41 million, on top of all the money that will come, that will be required to fix up the mistakes.

This is a very serious issue. It is about time the government stood up and said that their federal colleagues got it wrong and said, “Here are the documents you require,” so we can all have a full understanding of this issue.


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