Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3671 ..
bushfires, on that day, in the lead-up and subsequently. And that is what this report is about. That is why it is important that we have this debate. It is important that we bring it on. That is why this government is ducking this debate.
They are too gutless, as they have been throughout this process. They did not want to front the committee. The Chief Minister did not want to front the committee. And if he was fair dinkum, if he really had a case against what the coroner had found, he would have had the guts to turn up and put it. But we know that his main defence has been that he simply cannot remember. That has been his defence. And since then he has refused to have the debate and to subject himself to scrutiny. He said these were political findings and when there was a political process he ran away. That is why we need to have this debate.
This goes to the heart of the integrity of this government. And the reason we have to suspend standing orders of course goes to the misuse of their majority. They have consistently misused their majority. And there are of course some who say majority government is bad. It is not just majority government that is of itself bad; it is this majority government; it is the misuse by the Labor Party of majority government in this place. They have got control.
In fact, what did they tell us on election day? “You have nothing to fear from a majority government.” The people have seen what they had to fear and it is reflected tonight. It is reflected in the way that they use their numbers to prevent having any debate which reflects poorly on them. They use their ministerial powers to refuse to come before a committee, to front up and put their case. If the Chief Minister really believed that he was right and the coroner was wrong, surely he would not mind being subjected to scrutiny.
We would think by now that he would remember what had happened. The psychosis or the hypnosis or whatever process he needed to go into to recover that memory would have happened by now. And of course that would have been one of the first questions we could have put to him. We could have asked him: has the hypnosis worked? Do you now remember what happened on the morning of 18 January? Or have you still forgotten?
Mr Corbell: On a point of order: again, Mr Seselja seeks to cast some very unfavourable aspersions on the Chief Minister. But more significantly he is not speaking to the question before the chair.
MR SESELJA: I will very briefly conclude. We need to suspend the standing orders because this government is gutless; it is hiding from this debate, as it has done throughout the term of this Assembly. (Time expired.)
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8:43): The government will not be supporting the suspension this evening. The government, contrary to the accusations made by the Leader of the Opposition, did permit debate on this report this evening. As is the usual practice when reports are presented in this place, the three members of the committee were permitted to speak to the report before the debate on the report was adjourned. And it is not true for the