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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4189 ..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

is that the minister decided to act in the way he did. We must uphold the protocols, practices, procedures and conventions of this place.

I am disappointed that Mr Corbell has taken our committee system to such a low. In what state is the accountability and rigour of the executive if Mr Corbell does not now do the honourable thing and resign? How many times can and will the executive ride roughshod over the rest of the members of this Assembly. Clearly, that is what it is doing now. All the 11 other members do not count, or the six others or three others. We do not count. Is that the case? Are they immune from accountability?

Mr Speaker, I and my colleagues are most concerned about the future of the work of committees and the functions of this place in the eyes of the Canberra community. It seems that they want to ignore the appeals by the community to have a better run, a more solid and more mature Assembly. This is a serious matter. For Mr Quinlan to somehow fob it off as some cheap political point-scoring exercise is very low. I have to say that, if Mr Corbell's colleagues are condoning his actions-and they clearly are as I have not heard one say that he was wrong, although Mr Hargreaves may have done to some extent-this obviously means they support contemptible actions, which is quite a worry for the people of the ACT.

Ms MacDonald: That is an imputation.

MRS BURKE: Quite clearly, this government and more particularly this minister, Mr Corbell, believe that they can say and do what they want-

Ms MacDonald: Point of order, Mr Speaker: Mrs Burke has imputed that, because of the way that we have debated this matter today, members on this side of the house obviously support contemptuous actions. I ask her to withdraw that imputation.

MRS BURKE: I did not say that, Mr Speaker.

THE CHAIR: That is a point of debate, Ms MacDonald.

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

THE CHAIR: There are two sides to the argument and people may debate the issue. The issue is the report of the committee, which was about a contempt, so it is open to you to debate the issue if you so wish.

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This government and Mr Corbell believe that they can say and do what they want, when they want, to whom they want. Mr Speaker, I therefore fully support the motion and call upon the minister, Mr Corbell, to resign forthwith.

MS MacDONALD (12.22): I rise to speak briefly on this issue. Mrs Burke has just made the comment that this side of the Assembly is condoning contempt of the Assembly by carrying out the debate in the way that it has today. I disagree with that comment and the reason I say that is that a number of matters have been raised in this debate today, and how each of us in this place responds to those matters is up to each of

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