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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 July 2008) . . Page.. 2444 ..

MR STEFANIAK: I seek leave to table it.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I present the following paper:

Inquiry into ACT fire and emergency services arrangements—Copy of letter to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services from Mr Stefaniak, Chair, Standing Committee on Legal Affairs, dated 20 June 2008.

That, I think, basically says it all. Yes, there was one of the documents we did not require; we discussed it; but we still required a document. The minister indicated, “No, I am not going to provide that; it is cabinet-in-confidence.” And he stuck to his digs on that and he would not supply it. That has been the case all the way along. If the minister feels he is able to reply and wants to actually send us documents, he would do so; if he did not, he refuses to do so. Then we have a letter requiring him to and he says, “No, cabinet-in-confidence; we will not do it.” Leaving aside whether he is right or wrong, that surely just makes a nonsense of some of the things he has been saying here today.

Ladies and gentlemen, I do not really believe I need to say any more. I think Dr Foskey has probably said it very ably, as the crossbench member of the committee, somebody who does not have any thing to gain from any argy-bargy the major parties might play here. She has made her position quite clear.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Stefaniak has the floor.

MR STEFANIAK: If you think the major parties are playing argy-bargy on this and just playing silly buggers, fine. Mr Corbell, I believe, is. But I think Dr Foskey has basically summed it up perfectly. This is a waste of time. As I said earlier, if I have done anything wrong, I certainly apologise.

I do draw members’ attention to the fact that we do have rules for routine matters. I considered this to be routine because of what had gone on before and the minister’s responses when he had not exactly been forthcoming. This was not some earth-shattering event. If people want to construe it as such, I am sorry. We can make sure we dot i’s and cross t’s a little better next time around. But let us get on with the job of representing the people of Canberra and doing the real business of government and not wasting time on very trivial matters such as the attorney raises here today. You have got the numbers; you will have your inquiry; but what a monumental waste!

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.33): It is disappointing to me and to my colleagues that those opposite, when faced with a serious motion about their own actions and about the actions of one of their own members, immediately play the man, not the ball. As soon as there is a question about the appropriateness of their conduct in this place, it has got nothing to do with the issue at hand; it has got everything to do with what a horrible person I am.

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