Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 April 2009) . . Page.. 1742 ..
We saw this happen again in the Fifth Assembly in relation to the Nettlefold Street trees, where the minister was directed to do particular things, which he did not do. And, when he was asked if he was going to do it and he was not, he made it perfectly clear to the Assembly that he was not going to do the things that the Assembly had told him to do. Although the word “direction” was not actually used in the motion, it was a clear direction. The minister was censured. The Liberal opposition moved want of confidence in the minister, and the minister was eventually censured for that.
By the performance of the attorney today, it is clear that that is going to be the way things pan out in this Assembly: if the non-Labor members of the Assembly decide that they would like the executive to do something, it is quite clear that we have been put on notice today that, if Simon Corbell has his way, the executive will defy the Assembly. I think we need to take that on board and consider our position and how we will react when that almost inevitably arises.
I also cannot let the day go by without commenting a little further on the issue of Mr Barr’s outrageous outburst during question time today. I have had the opportunity to listen to the tape again, and it is quite clear that Mr Barr went off on a riff. He made it quite clear and I—
Mr Seselja: He’s had a bad day.
MRS DUNNE: He had a bad day. He had a real barry of a day; that is true, Mr Seselja. But he started off sort of saying, “Well, this is a racially based attack. Mrs Dunne of all people” and then went on to Mr Seselja and Mr Doszpot—sort of basically saying—
Mr Seselja: Why would he choose us?
MRS DUNNE: Why would he choose us? It is because Mr Seselja and Mr Doszpot have obvious ethnic names, shall we say, and Mr Barr is also aware that I was born with an ethnic name. There seems to be some notion that, if you have an ethnic name, you cannot talk about these issues because somehow you are a racist to do so. Well, I happen to be proud of my Italian heritage, as I am sure Mr Doszpot and Mr Seselja are of their Hungarian and Croatian heritage respectively. The idea that because we happen to have non-Anglo heritage we cannot talk about these issues is a disgrace. It is an absolute disgrace and we need to keep Mr Barr in check on these occasions. Really, when you look at it, it is a bit of an indictment of the Labor Party, the people’s party, that between them they have no-one who can represent anyone other than the Anglos of this world, and that is fine. People of all sorts of backgrounds and origins should be represented, but the Labor Party is completely unrepresentative when it comes to the racial, ethnic and cultural mix in this town, and I am proud of the contribution that we Liberals make to representing people from a wide background.
Question resolved in the affirmative.