Page 155 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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is as if he were told, especially in a grave matter. Mr Speaker, there has been no graver matter to confront the people of the ACT than the bushfires of January 2003.

I could recount to you a whole litany of occasions, but I suspect you would rule me out of order, when the Attorney-General was told that things would happen, that he would need to do particular things, that there was a clear and present danger of impact of the fires on the urban edge. All of those things have been canvassed here, in the Coroners Court, in the media and generally, but I will not stray into your ruling.

I will say that these matters are clearly on the record and bring to the mind of the people of the ACT that the Attorney-General, in acting in the way that he has, is, in fact, setting up a scenario whereby, if there is an adverse finding against members of the government, both of the executive and of the bureaucracy, he will be in a situation to sully the reputation of the coroner. That is not what the first law officer should be doing. The first law officer should be upholding—

Mr Corbell: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mrs Dunne is imputing that the Attorney-General is seeking to impugn the reputation of the coroner. She made that very clear in her statement. That is, in my view, contrary to the standing orders. Imputing that sort of motive to the Attorney-General is highly disorderly and I ask you to ask her to withdraw that.

Mr Smyth: Under which standing order?

Mr Corbell: Imputing improper motives.

MR SPEAKER: That really is not applying to members of this place, but it is inappropriate to reflect on the judiciary.

MRS DUNNE: I did not.

MR SPEAKER: All I can say is that I will review the Hansard and make a decision in respect of it in due course.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Health—job cuts

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Last Sunday, the Canberra Times reported that you had confirmed that you would be cutting administrative jobs from your department as a result of the centralisation of your department and the re-amalgamation of the hospital.

Will the jobs cut be in the hospital or in the head office? Which areas of your department will you cut? Does your definition of administrative staff include hospital workers

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