Page 3203 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 18 August 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, the point of order is upheld. Ms Hunter, do you have a question?

MS HUNTER: Can the Chief Minister explain, in his role as Chief Minister, why he issued a warning to a board that he has no legal control over? I quote from the Canberra Times of Saturday, 15 August 2009:

The sale of the clubs collapsed last week after Chief Minister Jon Stanhope warned the local Labor Club board could face the sack unless the sale was aborted.

Chief Minister, have you sought to direct the decisions of the ALP—

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the question again relates to actions that the Chief Minister engaged in which do not relate to his responsibilities as Chief Minister. The question time standing orders clearly state that questions to ministers must relate to their portfolio responsibilities. Ms Hunter needs to indicate how it relates to the Chief Minister’s portfolio responsibilities.

Mr Seselja: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: it has been a longstanding convention in this place that ministers are responsible for their public statements and are answerable for their public statements in this place. So I would put it to you that it is quite in order for Ms Hunter to be asking the Chief Minister about his public statements which were reported in the Canberra Times.

MR SPEAKER: The point of order from Mr Corbell is upheld on the basis that it relates to party matters.

Gaming—sale of Labor clubs

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in your ministerial code of conduct you state that ministers will ensure that their conduct does not bring discredit upon the government or the territory. Chief Minister, have you brought discredit through your conduct or your part in influencing and directing the sale or withdrawal of the sale of the Canberra Labor Club Group? If so, were you involved in the transaction?

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Again, the standing order makes it quite clear, and standing order 114 is the one relevant here. It states:

Questions may be put to a Minister relating to public affairs with which that Minister is officially connected, to proceedings pending in the Assembly or to any matter of administration for which that Minister is responsible.

You have just ruled that questions to members of the government, insofar as they relate to the activities of the Australian Labor Party or groups associated with it, are not relevant and are out of order, and this is clearly the case in relation to Mr Smyth’s question also.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth on the point of order.

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