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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 3625 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

a no-confidence motion - is that within 30 minutes or an hour or so of the coroner's report coming down the announcement was made that there would be a no-confidence motion. After that members of the Opposition had no choice but to squeeze out the coroner's report as much as they could to support the notion of having a no-confidence motion. That, indeed, is what they have done and that is what we have seen today, Mr Speaker. There has not been any evidence at all as to the standard of ministerial accountability which could be applied in such a way as to find the Chief Minister wanting in terms of a no-confidence motion.

Mr Speaker, I have to say that one of the most interesting parts of this debate has been the quotations from House of Representatives Practice as to what is the standard for ministerial accountability, in that House of Representative Practice actually quotes the Royal Commission on Australian Government Administration as a reference for that. I think the critical part, which Ms Tucker and Mr Humphries quoted, is the part which states that a Minister is:

... in consequence bound to resign or suffer dismissal - unless the action which stands condemned was theirs, or taken on their direction, or was action with which they ought obviously to have been concerned.

If there were to be a no-confidence motion, I would argue that there is more evidence here today and in the coroner's report for the no-confidence motion to be in Mr Kaine. I am not arguing for that; do not mistake me. I do not think that there should be a no-confidence motion in Mr Kaine.

Mr Kaine: It would not help.

MR MOORE: But it is even sillier to have a no-confidence motion in the Chief Minister. Mr Kaine interjects that it would not help, and I accept that. I would argue that on a couple of comments in the coroner's report. Mr Kaine said, "My role was none, zero, none at all". I think I have quoted him correctly. I think that that is what he said. The coroner in his comment about Mr Kaine said that he was not shut out. A further thing we had from the coroner, on page 442, was:

It is an inescapable fact that as the weeks and months progressed towards the demolition dates Mr Kaine received no briefings on the Acton demolition not even on the technical aspects of the project. There is no evidence to suggest otherwise. It was certainly curious.

There are lots of reasons behind why that may have been the case. If you were going to put a no-confidence motion, that is the one that would, perhaps, carry more weight, but I still think not enough weight for a no-confidence motion, because the test that we would apply would be whether it was an action "with which they ought obviously to have been concerned". If we were going to apply a test, that is the one that we would apply. Even there it would not be enough. If Mr Kaine were still in this, it would not be enough for us to carry a no-confidence motion.

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