Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 July 2008) . . Page.. 2625 ..
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.42): The government will not be supporting this motion today. This is just a stunt by the Liberal Party. It is as simple as that. It is an appalling stunt.
This is not a new issue. The opposition have been seeking to advance this issue for a number of weeks. They could have, if they had had their act together, put it on the agenda for private members’ business at the meeting yesterday which determines the agenda for private members’ business for today. But of course Mr Seselja is not that organised and so he has a brainwave at 3.00 pm today and decides that he is going to move the motion now. It does not matter that all the other members have been getting in the queue to get their business dealt with. No, Mr Seselja thinks that he is different and special and that he can just move it whenever he wants.
Mr Smyth: He is special.
MR CORBELL: He is special, Mr Smyth, but not in the way that you are recognising.
This is just a stunt by the Liberal Party. The government has answered all these questions on this matter. So important do the opposition think this is that they did not even raise this during question time. Where was the request of the Acting Chief Minister during question time to release the documents? They did not even bother. For them to come into this place now and to seek the suspension of standing orders to try to rapidly inflate the deflating tyre is really very sad.
The bottom line is that there are other important items of business on the notice paper, items of business that members have been waiting a considerable time to have addressed. The opposition should stop interfering in private members’ business in this way. The government wants to get on with private members’ business and we will not be supporting this motion.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.44): This is a worthy motion, and it is a worthy motion because it is an important issue. We know when Mr Corbell manages to get four or five minutes of stunts into a three-minute speech that he has nothing to say, that he has no fallback and he has no defence to stop this. Every time he says the word “stunt” he costs himself more votes in places like Isaacs, Garran and Hughes in his electorate from people who do not believe that this is a stunt, from people who I know are losing sleep over this issue, from families that have been disturbed by this issue, from people who are having to comfort their children who are concerned about what is going on today.
All Mr Corbell can say is that it is a stunt. That just heightens how poor the government’s defence is. There are huge areas of concern out there in the community. People want to know what went on. They want to know what nods and winks were made. They want to know what handshakes were given. They want to know when the meetings took place—who had quiet chats with whom, whose back was scratched. They want to know whose retirement plans were involved. That is the sort of thing that will be going through people’s heads—because they do not know the truth.
We got the statement from Ms Gallagher as Acting Chief Minister that, one, the opposition will not be able to prove in any way in any document that there was any