Page 1594 - Week 05 - Thursday, 8 May 2008
comparable to Dr Foskey’s trip to Brazil. Perhaps Mr Gentleman should have his own blog now and Mr Mulcahy can watch that blog as well and comment on it. Mr Gentleman took nine minutes to tell us about his epic journey to Namadgi. Now, I know that the new Indiana Jones film is coming. Perhaps we could have “Mick does Namadgi” or “Mick and Mary’s day out in Namadgi”.
For Mr Corbell to thank Mr Gentleman for putting this Assembly to the trouble of moving a motion requiring the committee chair to make public a report that he is asking the public to comment on, which they cannot see because he has chosen to suppress it, is just beyond belief. The Labor Party has two members on this committee. They had the power to make this public the moment they received it. They had the power to publish it immediately so that groups like the National Parks Association, which made a presentation to the committee, could have actually done so with that knowledge. This is absolutely ludicrous!
I will thank Mr Gentleman, Mr Corbell. I take your advice. I thank Mr Gentleman for confirming that his party is mean spirited, as the Daily Telegraph suggests this morning. It is mean spirited not to share this information with the public. It is mean spirited to make groups like the National Parks Association make submissions to a committee in the blind. That is honest and open and accountable government for you.
I thank you for confirming the story in this morning’s Daily Telegraph that you are part of a mean spirited party. I thank you for confirming that the trick is to sell back flips as community consultation and answering concerns: Here we are. Yes, we are concerned. Here I back flip. I do the double back flip with the half pike and I drop the report deftly on the table and then look glowingly at Mr Corbell and hope that Mr Corbell—as he is so often asked to do by the government—will clean up the mess.
I thank you on behalf of your community, Mr Gentleman, for suppressing this draft document for—what is it—three, four or five months so that the community was kept in the dark. We thank you for that. I thank you for the opportunity to hold you to account in a public place. I thank you for that. I thank you for the fact that the Assembly has now been debating this for about 50 minutes. If you had just wanted to drop the report on the table and publish it, you could have come to an arrangement with the committee beforehand and said, “Look, we now agree. We have changed our minds. We have back flipped. We have been mean spirited.” I thank you again for putting this into the public place.
I think it is absolutely incredible that it took an unprecedented motion in this place to expose the mean spiritedness of your chairmanship of this committee and the way that your government operates. I look forward to the blogging and the travelogue-ing. Obviously, Mr Gentleman wanted desperately to tell us—it took nine of the 12 minutes of his speech—where he went and whom he saw. I actually thought at one stage that he was going to say that the rangers had advised him not to publish this report and not to let interested groups see it. I did not hear that. I actually thought he was going to find some sort of road to Damascus—the Australian equivalent of the road to Damascus out there in Namadgi—but we did not get that.
We have not had a reason for the change of heart and they have been exposed as the mean spirited group that they are. We have not had an explanation as to why it took