Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 25 February 2010) . . Page.. 788 ..
Members, the motion I am moving with your leave is a motion to amend the reporting date in the context of the resolution of the Assembly of yesterday relating to documents held by the ACT government pertaining to the commonwealth home insulation scheme. That resolution as passed yesterday called on the government to table those documents by the close of business tomorrow. In discussion with members today, the government has made it clear that it will take a longer period of time to ensure that all documents are located, identified and provided. Therefore, I am seeking the Assembly’s agreement to provide those documents to the Speaker by the close of business on Wednesday next week.
It is important that the government make sure that any documents pertaining to this broad request are identified. It goes beyond the portfolios that I, as the Attorney-General, am responsible for; it involves potentially a number of other government departments who will not have the time to search and identify any relevant documents before close of business tomorrow. Therefore, I ask the Assembly to agree to the documents being provided by the close of business next Wednesday.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.27): The Liberal Party will be opposing this motion. As the point was made last night, the request for these exact documents has been outstanding under the Freedom of Information Act for a fortnight as of yesterday. It is the case that, if government departments have been doing their job, they should have already identified those documents. In fact, the Leader of the Opposition has today received advice from Actew, which was also subject to the freedom of information request, that they have done a search and they have no documents to reveal. Actew has done the work, so it seems that other agencies should be able to do this work.
This is an important issue and this is another example of obfuscation. It is interesting that the minister says that he had discussions with members, but I think, as usual, no members from the opposition were included in this. We had a little, cosy Labor-Greens conversation and we have agreed on this issue.
Mr Coe: They have a joint caucus, Vicki.
MRS DUNNE: Well, I suppose they do have a joint caucus; it must be the only way. They are actually using each other’s lines now. As a consequence of the work that should have already been done, it is unreasonable that we should be delayed another week in receiving these documents. As a result, we will not be supporting this motion.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.29): The Greens will be supporting this motion today. It is consistent with the position we took last night in my conversations with Mrs Dunne as we attempted to sort out the insulation motion, which we were keen to see pass. She wanted to receive the documents by close of business today, and I actually said to Mrs Dunne last night, “You know, I think it would be really sensible and, frankly, practical to leave it until perhaps the middle of next week. Let’s give the departments a few days to actually check the documents, because what we know from the discussion that has taken place this week is that junior officers seem to have many of these documents and, frankly, it is going to take a little while to track back through everybody’s notes and identify some of these documents.”