Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 November 2011) . . Page.. 5329 ..
MR HARGREAVES: It is crystal clear from the advice from the Solicitor-General that there has been no breach of the law. The Public Advocate may very well feel that there has and maybe that is the way in which she has expressed the view, perhaps. And what you do when you get that kind of an expression is you go and seek the highest legal advice available to you. In this case, the government employed the Solicitor-General to do just that. We have that advice and it is as clear as crystal and it is still not good enough for Mrs Dunne.
Mrs Dunne, on the other hand, will come into this place and say something which in effect is not only incorrect, and one might in fact ask whether or not it is misleading this Assembly by that statement, when we have had evidence given—
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, it is unparliamentary for Mr Hargreaves to suggest that I have misled the Assembly, except by a substantive motion.
MR HARGREAVES: On the point of order—can you stop the clock firstly, please?
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stop the clock.
MR HARGREAVES: I did not. I said one may wonder and I was about to express why one might wonder that.
Mrs Dunne: On the point of order, conjecturing on the subject of whether I have misled the Assembly is clearly disorderly. Mr Hargreaves wants to contend that I have misled the Assembly. He is not free to do so in idle conjecture. He has to actually move a substantive motion. He needs to withdraw.
MR HARGREAVES: I withdraw that and I will consider Mrs Dunne’s advice on whether or not we should go down that track.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, just withdraw.
MR HARGREAVES: I will unequivocally withdraw. I will take your advice.
Another comment that she made just now enraged me, and I have to paraphrase a bit of it, I am afraid. With respect to the Solicitor-General’s advice, she said, “And the minister said, ‘Go away and come up with an advice to do X, Y and Z.’” The Solicitor-General does not do the bidding of the executive. The Solicitor-General responds to a request for advice.
That is the most appalling suggestion that I have heard in a very long time in this place, and I call upon Mrs Dunne to stand in this house and withdraw that slur on the Solicitor-General’s reputation. Mr Garrisson is probably one of the most respected solicitors in this town and has served faithfully governments of all persuasions. I will not stand here or sit in this place and see a suggestion that he might have done the government’s bidding, and that is exactly what Mrs Dunne did.
I am afraid the real issue is that she has seen the advice from the Solicitor-General, she did not like that advice and did not take the appropriate way out and say, “Okay,