Page 594 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Corbell. Mrs Burke, direct your comments through me. Mrs Burke, I did not hear what you had to say. Repeat your point of order, please.

MRS BURKE: I was just asking the minister to desist from tedious repetition under standing order 62. He has already made his case clear.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I do not see a point of order there. Maybe one on relevance, though, minister. I just might—

MR CORBELL: It is entirely relevant. I am explaining—

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I will advise you about relevance, minister, which I think is more important than tediousness at this stage. Mr Corbell, you have the floor.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I am, of course, pointing out why the government opposes these amendments. Let us just reflect on the opposition’s failure to properly insert these sorts of issues into the process of the inquiry. The opposition have had—how many is it?—one, two, three, four, five separate occasions on which a member of their party has been engaged in this inquiry. Mrs Dunne has been a member of this committee not once but twice during the course of this inquiry, interrupted by Mrs Burke on two separate occasions and then Mr Smyth as the latest incumbent. We have seen five separate appointments from the Liberal Party during the course of this inquiry. The reason why the Liberal Party are moving these amendments today has nothing to do with matters of principle. It has everything to do with the fact that they are so bloody disorganised—

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! That is disorderly language, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: I beg your pardon; I apologise, Mr Deputy Speaker.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Apology accepted.

MR CORBELL: The Liberal Party are so appallingly disorganised and are such a shambles of an opposition that they have been incapable of advancing these matters during the course of the inquiry. At one minute to midnight they are still so disorganised that they cannot even get a coherent opposition position. Each of them has their own bright idea about what the amendment should be. We have got Brendan Smyth, the leader in waiting, still seeking to take the limelight, so you cannot have Mrs Dunne moving something without Mr Smyth moving something as well.

These are matters that should have been dealt with during the course of the inquiry. I was present, as was Mr Smyth, at a roundtable that occurred back in September 2006—over 1½ years ago. I do not recall—

Mrs Dunne: You didn’t stay for the whole time, Simon. I was there too. I stayed for the whole time.

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