Page 1140 - Week 03 - Thursday, 26 February 2009

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I believe that all members in this place really are dedicated. They are committed. I believe that they do want to do the best for their constituents. But I think that we do need to do it in a respectful way and in a constructive way.

Legislative Assembly—members

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.39): The Chief Minister’s rush of blood to the head earlier this week when he proposed a motion that Mr Coe table the names and addresses of constituents who had written to him about the land rent scheme cannot go without comment. The Chief Minister later acknowledged that he had an initial flare of temper when he said, “I drafted the motion in some haste and, really, with the benefit of a little more”—and he sort of faded off there. In short, what we saw was the senior minister of the ACT government failing to control his temper, and indulging in an outrageous outburst, all because the opposition had challenged him over one of his pet projects.

More importantly, the Chief Minister, who is the champion of human rights, the champion of protection of privacy, proposed in this place that personal details of a member be published. Even the substitute motion, which required the MLA to disclose personal information of a constituent or someone else, required an MLA to disclose personal information of constituents to someone else, in this case the Chief Minister.

On one construction of it, Mr Coe was under a mandatory duty to go back and ask constituents: “Can I give the Chief Minister your name and address? He wants to know who has been complaining about the land rent scheme. Do you mind”—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mrs Dunne, I refer you to standing order No 52, which states:

A Member may not reflect adversely upon any vote of the Assembly, except upon a motion that the vote be rescinded.

MRS DUNNE: I am not reflecting on the vote; I am reflecting on the state of mind of the Chief Minister. This is a Chief Minister who does not care one iota for the concerns of constituents. He is concerned about trying to win political points on the back of a cynical, hypocritical tirade. I would like to remind members what the Chief Minister’s own Human Rights Act says at section 11:

Everyone has the right—

(a) not to have his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence interfered with unlawfully or arbitrarily …

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker: I think Mrs Dunne is reflecting on the vote of the Assembly, because she is suggesting that the decision of the Assembly to require certain material to be made available in certain circumstances is inconsistent with the Human Rights Act. That is very much reflecting on the vote of the Assembly. I think she is out of order.

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