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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 November 2011) . . Page.. 5429 ..


saying that he got it wrong, that he said it on three occasions without checking—without doing what the code of conduct demands, that everything ministers do in the Assembly is soundly based and they correct any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. You do it once, it is inadvertent. You do it twice, perhaps it is reckless, careless, whatever word you want to use. If you do it three times in the space of three weeks, it is persistent and it is wilful and it should be censured, otherwise we set a standard so low in this place that ministers will feel that they can get away with whatever they want.

This is a minister who, over the decade that he has been a minister, has got away with it because, in the main, the Greens have never stood up to hold him to account. He should be held to account. He should be held to account today. I thank Mr Coe for bringing on the motion today. It is a very sound motion based on hard work and diligence, and Mr Coe is to be congratulated on that. The minister can hardly be congratulated on anything, let alone the urge for praise for having told us. He had a duty to come here. He had an obligation to come here. He is bound by the ministerial code of conduct to come here, and eventually he would have been caught out in some other forum, because this lie could not have stood the test. It did not stand up in the initial letter. It did not stand up in the hearing. It did not stand up yesterday. To say he only found out late last night confirms the fact that he did nothing between 1 October and yesterday to confirm his facts and correct the record.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.31): I simply rise to address one issue that the opposition have raised in their silly arguments today—that is, the answer to the question I took on notice at the annual reports hearing in relation to the date of the alleged payment of $150,000, which has since been identified as an error and incorrect advice.

I simply make the point that my directorate takes on a large number of questions on notice, and they are referred immediately to the directorate for a reply. Once that reply is finalised it is provided to me and signed off under my signature. No such reply has been provided to me at this time, and I simply make the point to the Assembly that the committee provided three weeks for an answer to questions taken on notice during the annual reports hearing. That three weeks expires on 22 November. Therefore, it is no surprise that a substantive answer to that question has not yet been provided to me.

Motion (by Mr Barr) put:

That the question be now put.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 9

Mr Barr

Ms Porter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Dr Bourke

Mr Coe

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Burch

Mr Doszpot

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Hanson

Mr Smyth

Mr Hargreaves

Ms Hunter


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