Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3879 ..
MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (4.03): The Special Minister of State started his address in this debate by setting out “facts”. Let us set out some more facts, since the minister decided to leave some out. Last week the minister scoffed and brushed off the Canberra Liberals’ claims and concerns, significant concerns, about this data breach issue, telling us that we were wrong about the nature of the information that was released—hoping to get away with it, at the end of the day—only to be forced back into this chamber to correct the record. If the minister is going to be sitting here claiming that there is no breach of privacy, that the information that was released does not constitute a breach of privacy, he can at least get the nature of the information right.
He also seemed to justify what can only be described as an absolute stuff-up by saying that the information needed to be disclosed, it had to be disclosed and it was necessary to disclose for the purposes of the procurement process. That is absolute rubbish. How many times have members of the Labor-Greens government cited privacy and information that is commercial in-confidence and “we cannot release it because it is part of a procurement process”? It is absolute rubbish to say that information of this kind—personal, sensitive, confidential information of this kind—needed to be released because of the procurement process. And for him to come into this place and say that with a straight face is almost laughable, if this were not such a serious, serious matter.
I go to the comments by the Attorney-General. He stands in this place during this debate and says very strongly, “You know what? The Privacy Commissioner is going to make some recommendations and I will look at them and I will respond to them as the Attorney-General.” Let us not forget that the Auditor-General made some very alarming recommendations in his report last year and the same government responded, accepting all those recommendations. And here we are today! We know that this is a government that is good at talking the talk. We know that their actions just do not stack up.
The Minister for Health and for workplace relations made some extremely controversial, disgraceful remarks. If she wants to point fingers, get her to name names and do it outside this chamber. They are serious allegations that she is throwing around. Tell her to come good on them.
Going to the amendment, on the one hand, we have got the Special Minister of State saying, “No, no, there was no privacy breach. There was no privacy breach.” The amendment actually goes on to list extensively the information that was not included, that was not contained in the spreadsheet, and then, in the same breath, in the same amendment, he goes on to demand that all MLAs declare whether anyone has accessed it and make sure that they deleted it.
If it is not private information, why is he calling for that to happen? You cannot have it both ways. You cannot on the one hand say, “Ho, ho, there is no privacy breach here,” and then, on the other hand, demand that everyone delete it. Why? If it is not private, if it not confidential, if it is not a breach, what is he asking for? What is he calling for?