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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 827 ..


MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you very much for your contributions. As I said before, there is no point of order. Mr Rattenbury, you have the floor.

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. I will wrap this point up for the comfort of the Liberal Party because there are some major policy initiatives being planned by government where the Liberals are perhaps not fulfilling their potential to hold the government to account. Whilst I fully acknowledge that we cannot all do everything, there is much work to be done here. I think Mr Seselja should be wary of using such cheap throwaway lines.

In summary, the Greens will not be supporting this motion today. We believe that Mr Seselja and the Liberal Party have failed to make a strong enough case that the minister wilfully and persistently misled the Assembly in regard to information about the home insulation program here in the ACT. Their arguments failed to consider the context of the statements that the minister made or acknowledge the lack of specificity in the request for documents made in question time that day.

It is true that the minister could have been more specific and accurate in language but it is also clear when you read the transcript that the minister drew a clear distinction between safety issues and consumer cases. When you cut through the semantics and focus on the meaning, it is clear this censure motion does not stack up. Persistently and wilfully taking things out of context is not enough to justify a censure motion.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.46): The energy efficient homes package, the insulation installation scheme, was a commonwealth government run program. The scheme was funded and designed by the commonwealth government. The rules of partaking in the scheme were designed by the commonwealth government. The scheme was not of this government’s creation. Like all state and territory governments, the ACT was consulted in relation to its deployment. Departmental officers provided feedback to the federal government but in the end any concerns that may have been expressed were not ours to action nor to control against.

This was a program of the commonwealth government. But this motion today is simply based on a Tony Abbott tactic from a lazy opposition. It is an issue and an argument about semantics. I did not mislead the Assembly when I said there had been no complaints in relation to unsafe installation of insulation. The context in which I answered the questions, the questions themselves, has been ignored by this opposition. I answered questions about dodgy work that may lead to fires or to electrocution—about dodgy, unsafe work. They were the questions I was asked. That was the context in which the questions were put. I was not asked about fair trading issues of door-to-door salespeople, of misleading and deceptive conduct or of breach of contract. These were, however, the fair trading type complaints that the Office of Regulatory Services received.

Prior to the commencement of the program the commonwealth government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts identified that consumers with concerns, disputes or disagreements with insulation installers were


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