Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 July 2008) . . Page.. 2432 ..
The letter actually says that the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs “requests” that you bring to the hearing a number of documents that it then lists. You actually did bring some; some you did not. I think you have consistently not brought some. The point is that this letter was drafted by the secretary and signed off by me, and you are absolutely clutching at a very, very minor straw here, Mr Corbell. I said that if I had done anything wrong, I would apologise for it. End of story there.
By all means, set up your committee, Mr Corbell. Go for your life. It is a total waste of time, but there might be a few other things we might like to inquire into in relation to it. I would think the most sensible thing for you to do is just get on with your government business. If I have done anything wrong, I apologise for it. I am sure that the committee secretary would also be quite happy to apologise if she has done anything wrong in not saying, “We’d better send this to the rest of the committee first.”
I would have thought that what we requested was so procedural and was so obvious, having been asked for on several occasions, I think, and having been mentioned in the transcript, that it would have come as no surprise to you. It came as no surprise to get your documents back. It actually came as no surprise to me after the committee met and required some further documents that you still refused to produce one of them. I think it was the Ellis report. I think you are twisting here, and you are just making an absolute mountain out of something which is very, very minor indeed.
I do not think there is too much more I can say, Mr Speaker. I have indicated that I am more than happy to apologise for any indiscretion or anything I did wrong. I have already done so with the committee, and I have done it here now. I would imagine that, if she wants to, the committee secretary can, too. I think you are putting her in a difficult position, because it was a letter drafted by her, signed by me and then sent off. Neither of us, it seems, thought too much about it. I think you are being precious in the extreme.
With a government like yours, I will be absolutely squeaky careful next time just to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ in case you come up with spurious rubbish like this. Go ahead! Have your committee, Mr Corbell. But I just do not think there is much more to add. If you want to pursue witch-hunts, you should do them better on issues where you have got a little bit more substance.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.50): I was not going to speak in this debate but I will do so, after hearing the comments made by Mr Stefaniak this morning. In those comments, I am concerned that Mr Stefaniak was trying to sheet the blame for any incident that has occurred to the committee secretary. It would be, of course, the committee chair—in this case Mr Stefaniak—who signs any letter of request for the committee. Mr Speaker, this debate this morning is as a result of the decision you made in according it precedence over Assembly business.
Ms MacDonald: It is a matter for the privileges committee.
MR GENTLEMAN: That is right. It is a matter for the committee, if established, to consider. Whether or not any action comes out of that will be as a result of an