Page 1486 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Mrs Dunne moving that the decision of the Speaker not to give precedence to the matter of privilege be disagreed with.

Very important issues for this Assembly have occurred over the last couple of days, issues which go to the heart of how the ACT is governed by this Assembly. The issues raised in my correspondence with you, Mr Speaker, are very important; I think they warrant discussion. The decisions you have made—and you will note that I am not moving dissent from your ruling; you have not made a ruling—need to be aired in this place. The fact that, again, the government hide behind the granting of leave to prevent anything that is inconvenient for them to hear is typical and to be expected, but the matters raised are important. They are about matters of corruption which, if proved, in some places would warrant—

MR SPEAKER: Order! If you want to proceed against members on such a very deep and meaningful matter so far as parliaments are concerned, you ought to do it by way of a substantive motion, rather than imputing such improper motives. I order you to withdraw that.

MRS DUNNE: I will withdraw. This is at the whole heart of it. What has arisen in the last few days goes to the very heart of whether people in this place deal properly with their colleagues in a moral and incorrupt way.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I have ordered you to withdraw that and not impute such improper motives. That is another imputation. That is your last warning, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: I withdraw. The matters raised here are of the highest importance. They need to be aired in the Assembly, not just in correspondence between you and me, Mr Speaker. I initiated action yesterday on the basis of both advice I received and my own consultation with the precedents of this place and other parliaments.

The matters raised need to be aired. If they have nothing to hide, the ministers and members concerned should not be afraid of the scrutiny of this Assembly. They have been elected to high office. When that occurs they sign up for public scrutiny of their actions.

The actions of some people here cause me to doubt whether people have acted appropriately. On consultation with my colleagues and with people who understand the forms of the house, those concerns were confirmed sufficiently in my mind that I felt it necessary to raise them with you. The idea that any discussion of this matter would be closed down by the Assembly is just another example of the rorts that are dealt out by this government. The restricting of sitting times, the constant applying of gags to debate, the stacking of committees, the rorting of the estimates committees, the closing down of the coroner’s—

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, once more I rise to a point of order. Again, Mrs Dunne suggests that there is some sort of rorting or corrupt behaviour occurring. You have

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