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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 824 ..


registered with ORS, I do not believe that it meets the claims being set by the Liberal Party here this morning as to “persistently and wilfully misleading the Assembly”.

However, at the same time, I think that his summation of them all as being about high-pressure sales tactics was an overgeneralisation. That, given the Assembly’s need for detail on this subject, has proven inadequate. I am assured that the seven cases were all about fair trading issues, such as misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of contract, and were not related to safety. But now would be a good time for the minister to put the details of those complaints, such as can be provided while respecting the privacy of those involved, to the Assembly. If we were to now discover that any of those complaints were related to safety then I think the minister has a case to answer.

The other aspect of Mr Seselja’s motion today is that the minister misled the Assembly in regard to documents held by the ACT government in regard to the insulation program, because he says that the truth is that there are nearly 1,000 pages within ACT departments. I think this is somewhat of an exaggeration. Mr Seselja and his staff know full well that the documents that were delivered to him in response to a motion on this issue in the last sitting week, which the Greens supported, were primarily made up of repeat copies of pages freely available on both the commonwealth and ACT government websites or pages and pages of repeat email strings sent between the ACT and commonwealth government officials or within the ACT government. It is unsurprising that the minister did not consider these to be the documents that the Liberals were referring to in their questions. It is reasonable to have raised a concern that the minister did not mention the memorandum of understanding between ORS and the commonwealth environment department but, again, it does not appear that the minister was wilfully misleading the Assembly, as he communicated the presence of this document both in a letter to all MLAs and in a statement to the Assembly on 23 February.

Having reviewed the documents that were provided to the Assembly as a result of the motion—and Mrs Dunne has demonstrated what a tremendous thud they make when they land on the table—there appear to be few other substantial internal documents about the home insulation program beyond the day-to-day internal communications between officials. Do not misunderstand me: I think it is perfectly reasonable for the Assembly to ask for and receive all of these documents. They do serve to tell part of the story of the home insulation program rollout, the compliance processes and information gathering that was put in place. But, again, I cannot see that Mr Seselja has made a case that the minister persistently and wilfully misled the Assembly in regard to documents. Aside from the MOU, on which the record was corrected, I think it would have been beyond any reasonable expectation that the minister would be aware of or report on the internal communications between officials.

Mr Seselja: What about his letter to Peter Garrett?

MR RATTENBURY: If you go to the letter to Mr Garrett that Mr Seselja is referring to, that was a letter about the conduct of the program. Again, let us go to the context of the debate, which was all about roof fires, safety and electrification of roofs. In reaching a judgement about persistently and wilfully misleading the Assembly, it is important, I believe, to outline what the minister did tell the Assembly that day and to


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