Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2658 ..
of the government and a member of the opposition because the crossbench is quite clearly disqualified if they are serious about appearances.
Mrs Burke: That is some proof for you, Chief Minister. You are obviously behind the times.
MR STANHOPE: I am serious about this. It would be simply an outrage if, under this motion, a member of the crossbench were on a privileges committee when the ABC has nominated a member of the crossbench as the person who provided the information which is to be the subject of the inquiry.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to answer some of the questions raised by Ministers Corbell and Wood.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, there were a number of things raised by both the ministers, one of which seemed to be a concern about whether I was tough enough as the chair of the committee. We are making the point that the minister cannot determine what is appropriate-that is not his role, that is not his function.
Mr Wood in his opening remarks to the Estimates Committee said that these "are matters for elsewhere". He went on to say:
They will be specifically and expertly addressed by the McLeod inquiry and the coroner's inquest and should be left for them. This is following correct Assembly processes.
Well, point out to me where those processes were followed when the Assembly established the McLeod inquiry. They were not. Show me where those processes were followed when the Assembly established the coronial inquiry. They were not. So you have to ask by whose judgment that statement is correct. There were no processes of the Assembly behind the coronial inquest or the McLeod inquiry. Mr Wood then went on to say we "won't be answering any questions relating to the details of the bushfires".
The minister spoke of his advice from the Clerk, and I wonder if the minister would table that advice. I am happy to give members the advice I have, and I will get to that in a minute. Before I do so, I will refer to something else that Mr Wood said. Mr Wood went on to say:
The McLeod inquiry, as with the coronial inquest, has been properly and well-established for the purpose of inquiring into response to the fires. This approach also applies to the Auditor-General's report No 3, which has been referred to the McLeod inquiry.
By whom? The Auditor-General's report No 3, by determination of this place, comes straight to the Public Accounts Committee. It does not go to the McLeod inquiry. The government can give McLeod a copy of the report but it certainly does not refer the Auditor-General's report for examination. So this process of defence that Mr Wood uses is flawed.