Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1879 ..
I think it is fair to say that the general description of where the person came from might unfairly identify this person. I would draw your attention, Mr Smyth, to the contents of the resolution passed by the Assembly.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, we considered the resolution as I put this speech together. In keeping with my commitment to Mr Corbell, the individual is certainly not named. The committee has received documents that detail everyone who may have had a hand in this. I seek an extension of time. (Extension of time not granted.)
Suspension of standing and temporary orders
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.20): I move:
That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Smyth having an extension of time.
Mr Speaker, there are clearly important matters here. The minister himself rose on what he said was only possibly a technical breach if not a breach in spirit. The point of order was therefore out of order and what it managed to do was use the last four or five minutes of my time-
MR SPEAKER: On a point of relevance, Mr Smyth, the question before the house is whether or not we should suspend standing orders-
MR SMYTH: We should suspend standing orders therefore to allow-
MR SPEAKER: Order! The question before the house is whether or not we should extend standing orders. It is not related to the point of order.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it has been a convention in this place for a long time that when members seek a first extension they are granted that as a matter of courtesy. If I am saying things the government do not want to hear, they should stand up and answer. What they should not do is avoid the debate. It is more than appropriate to say what I have said; I considered that when I put this speech together. It is more than appropriate that, as the chair of the Estimates Committee, I am given time to finish the speech introducing this report to the Assembly.
MR CORBELL(Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.22): Mr Speaker, the government would not normally oppose such a position, but Mr Smyth has attempted to use the Estimates Committee as a vehicle for an extremely grubby and personal attack on a public servant. That is all he has done. What is the point of saying where the person came from? What does it add to the debate? What is the point he is trying to make except in a political, grubby, mud-slinging exercise?
The government is quite happy for Mr Smyth to outline the committee's deliberations. But when he is simply using it as a vehicle for grubby mud-slinging and naming people all but in name when he has said quite publicly: no names, no pack drill. I'll just tell them where they used to work. Charming. It is a grubby, mud-slinging exercise, and it is cowardice, under parliamentary privilege, to do that.