Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1212 ..
MS FOLLETT (continuing):
the Assembly ought to await the outcome of any such sub judice action. The question that I asked was a request for factual information. There was no question that it was a matter coming up for debate. I believe that any reading of those parts of the question would support my assertion. It was a simple request for factual information.
Mr Speaker, you also made the assertion that the sub judice rule should apply where, in your words, the matter would be subject to adjudication in a court of law. I do not agree that a coronial inquest is a matter for adjudication in a court of law. It is a matter for inquiry and investigation; but at this stage at least there is no question of adjudication in a court of law, so I disagree with your ruling on those grounds as well.
Finally, Mr Speaker, I would say to you that it was entirely open to the Attorney-General to respond to those parts of my question in terms of a delay in the response or by saying that it was his belief that it was inappropriate to answer at this time. I would, of course, have accepted that answer being put forward by the Attorney-General. I would say that your ordering of the withdrawal of those parts of my question was quite unnecessary. I respect your right to make such a ruling. I disagree with it. I think it forms a very unfortunate precedent for these kinds of questions.
MR BERRY (3.51): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion in relation to certain correspondence referred to in Mrs Carnell's answer to Ms McRae's question during question time.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, the motion is self-explanatory. I move:
That the Chief Minister be required to table correspondence with the Commonwealth referred to in her answer to Ms McRae's question concerning the clean-up of the Kingston site.
Mrs Carnell: I said "discussion".
MR BERRY: You said "correspondence". This is an important issue where certain statements have been made in relation to the clean-up of the Kingston site and the responsibilities of the Commonwealth versus the Territory for the funding of that clean-up. Mrs Carnell clearly referred to correspondence, or letters, with the Commonwealth in the course of her answer to Ms McRae. Members will recall that Ms McRae asked this question:
My question, Mr Speaker, is this: When did the Commonwealth indicate its commitment to cleaning up Kingston and what was the offer made?