Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 July 2008) . . Page.. 2445 ..
I am not interested in playing the man in this debate; those opposite are. Those opposite are very happy to impugn my motive, my personality or my character. But that is just typical from those on that side of the place. They are very happy to play the man. They are very happy to drag down someone’s character. But they have not been prepared to address the issue.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: this is not the place to address the issue about whether or not there has been a contempt.
MR SPEAKER: That is a debating point, Mrs Dunne. Resume your seat.
MR CORBELL: They are not prepared to address the issue. The issue is: why did a committee chair demand documents of me—
Mr Stefaniak: No, “request”; get the word right.
MR CORBELL: Why did they demand those documents when the Assembly committee itself had not resolved to do so? That is the question. They made a very clear demand to me that documents be provided.
Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the minister can say whatever he likes, but can he please get the word right? The word in the letter states “requests”.
MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Resume your seat.
Mr Stefaniak: He is misleading the Assembly by using the wrong word.
MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Stefaniak.
Mr Stefaniak: I will withdraw it if you like, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I like.
Mr Stefaniak: But I ask you to get him to use the correct words.
MR SPEAKER: You cannot use the standing orders as a ruse to re-enter the debate, Mr Stefaniak.
MR CORBELL: Those opposite have talked about demanding documents themselves. They should be a bit careful about their language if they want to take that point. The point is that a very clear and unambiguous requirement was put on me—to provide documents. I treated it seriously. I responded in due course and I provided documents and I had to explain why in other circumstances I could not provide documents.
I believed that that was done with the authority of the committee. It would appear that it was not done with the authority of the committee. It is as simple as that. I replied on the basis that I assumed the committee had resolved to seek those documents. It would