Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2011) . . Page.. 4363 ..
standing orders say about committee behaviour. I have put out a press release saying that the Chief Minister is to be examined.
This is a serious matter. For the Chief Minister to be referred to the privileges committee is a very serious matter and it should not be taken lightly. What I did was simply say that that was going to occur. I hope out of the committee some things will come that will make the process better. Maybe I will get into trouble for making that statement. Perhaps that is unduly influencing the committee. But when you establish these committees it is always to make sure—and I said in my speech that poor process and poor governance were followed—that things are not repeated in future. That is the purpose of the committee. The Chief Minister will be examined, as I said in my press release.
This motion, Mr Speaker, is a joke. It actually belittles the Assembly. No case was made. There was no evidence. There were no facts. There was no case. We are now cobbling a case here as we go along. Mr Hargreaves put in his two-bob’s worth, but I think that was more for our side than their side. Ms Gallagher got up and said a few things. But the member himself who moved the motion is yet to make a case. If he makes the case in his closing speech, which of course should be a summation, that will be interesting. But if there is new material delivered or a new case is made then of course I have been denied natural justice—and won’t that be interesting?
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (4.16), in reply: I thank members for their contribution this afternoon. The Assembly has obviously needed to consider a serious matter this afternoon. I acknowledge that this, as I said at the beginning, is not something that the government seeks to bring on on a regular basis, perhaps unlike those opposite. I must observe with some sense of humour, Mr Speaker, that to be lectured by those opposite on how to approach a censure motion, given their track record in this place, is somewhat amusing. I will take my chances with my approach, Mr Speaker. It is not about how loud you are or how long you speak, Mr Speaker—
Mr Seselja interjecting—
MR BARR: It is not a reflection of how many interjections you make, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja!
MR BARR: Thank you. It is not a reflection of how funny you think you are when you get up and strut like Abbott, Mr Speaker. It has got nothing to do with that. This case is very clear. Members have all seen Mr Smyth’s press release and his commentary in the public arena. A number of members have quoted in detail from Mr Smyth’s media release. It is publicly available on Mr Seselja’s website. If it appeases—
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, I remind you.