Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 25 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
laughing matter. This is an extremely serious matter. We have a member here, in effect, alleging breach of privileges of this place against other members. That concerned me deeply; so I went to the minutes of the committee, in which I expected to find chapter and verse details of Mr Hird's continuing concerns at the way he now claims, in retrospect, to have been dealt with by the committee. I looked through the minutes to see the extent of Mr Hird's concerns at the way he was allegedly being treated and to see the extent to which Mr Hird demanded that his concerns be recorded in the minutes of the committee.
These minutes, of course, are prepared by the secretary of the committee. The last two sets of minutes of the committee, the penultimate set and the ultimate set, I have perused because of my very serious concerns about these serious allegations. What do we see in the minutes? These minutes were signed off by all members of the committee and prepared by the secretary, a member of the staff of this place. The minutes are revealing. They do not reveal any suggestion by Mr Hird that he has any concerns about the process. He certainly took a position on his dissent and he took a position on how he wanted the dissent dealt with, but he did not have the numbers; he did not carry the day. The other three members of the committee consistently outvoted him.
We have the minutes, detailed minutes, recording resolutions to this effect:
Mr Hird moved that the committee seek a deferral of its reporting date of 2 February to allow for further consideration of the issues.
The motion was lost on the voices.
The minutes go on:
Mr Hird foreshadowed that he would dissent from the report findings and argue that the report should be deferred
Mr Hird was obliged to leave the meeting but undertook to return to the meeting later that day and provide his written dissent to the committee
Prior to Mr Hird's departure it was agreed that in the event that the committee concluded its consideration of the draft report before his return, the committee would suspend until a later hour to enable Mr Hird to present and debate his dissent
By leave, the committee resolved to go through the report in the absence of Mr Hird; he was called away to who knows where.
Later in the day the committee, anticipating Mr Hird's return, reconvened to allow Mr Hird to do precisely that. The minutes indicate that the committee was informed that Mr Hird would be unavailable that day and would come back on 1 February. The majority of the committee, the other three members, then resolved: