Page 2279 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 16 June 2009
I contend that the letter from Mr Cormack was inappropriate and did attempt to influence me. Should I have complied with his letter, it would have interfered with my free performance as a member of the Assembly.
Ms Gallagher: To tell lies?
MR HANSON: I am concerned—
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker—sorry, Jeremy, to do this—I was going to let it go, but this is about the sixth or seventh time that Ms Gallagher has interjected that Mr Hanson tells lies, and I think it is time that it was withdrawn.
Ms Gallagher: I am happy to withdraw, Mr Speaker.
MR HANSON: I am concerned that the minister, by condoning Mr Cormack’s writing to me, somewhat politicised her departmental officials by doing so. I contend, therefore, that there is some need for clarification guidelines for where CEOs write to non-executive members. We also need to examine what protections are available for non-executive members. For example, if a department head, with the agreement of a minister, were to take legal action against a member because they believed their department had been unjustly criticised, what legal aid or support does the member have? I believe the answer is that there is no legal aid or recourse that a member has.
At this point I state for the record, as I have done in estimates already, that the opposition is fully supportive of the bush healing farm, and any attempt to characterise the issues that I have raised as an attack on the bush healing farm would be entirely disingenuous. I have not made any judgement of the appropriateness or not of a cellar door being next to that facility. That is not the issue in question, and any attempt to twist the debate to that issue would simply be an attempt to deflect attention away from the concerns that I have raised.
I would like also to express my support for the ACT public service, and assure them that any criticism—
Mr Corbell: Hypocrite!
MR HANSON: I have of the government is directed at the minister, and not at them.
Mr Corbell: Hypocrite!
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mr Corbell called Mr Hanson a hypocrite. It is unparliamentary, and it needs to be withdrawn.
Mr Corbell: I withdraw.
MR HANSON: The minister is yet to sit on the opposition benches and, no doubt, she may have a different perspective on this issue from me. I therefore believe it would be wise to put the matter before a select committee of members of the