Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 August 2009) . . Page.. 3336 ..
No matter which way you stretch your eyes, the Labor Party is not a community organisation in the same way as a football club is, a croquet club is, or any of the other multitude of organisations that benefit from the proceeds of the gaming machine legislation. That is why this motion is important and that is why the Canberra Liberals and the Leader of the Opposition today have moved this motion which is about openness and accountability.
In relation to the Greens’ amendment, it would be a lot more palatable, as Mr Smyth had suggested, if it became item No 6. I do have to reinforce the questions that were asked by Mr Smyth and Mr Seselja, and ask what the Greens are afraid of. In particular, why are the Greens unprepared to call on ministers of the ACT government to make a full and frank disclosure of any involvement that they may have had in this matter?
Yesterday, the Treasurer seems to have done that. Mr Barr—goodness knows why Mr Barr got a letter; one can only speculate as to why Mr Barr seems to have got a letter—seems to have made some account by saying that he had no involvement. What is it about openness and accountability that makes the Greens baulk from time to time? On this occasion they have baulked at this. They have come up with an alternative, and this alternative is so hedged about, simply because they do not know how it will work.
The Greens actually write a “get out of jail” mechanism in their amendment by way of paragraph (c). They actually have predicted the possibility that the Gambling and Racing Commission will come back and say to the Assembly, “We do not have the powers to do this.” This is not good enough. This means that the proposal put forward by the Greens is a flawed one and it is why the proposal originally suggested by the Liberal Party is the correct one.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2 pm.
Questions without notice
Gaming—sale of Labor clubs
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, your ministerial code of conduct applies to the conduct of both your ministers and their staff. It states:
Ministers will uphold the laws of the Australian Capital Territory and Australia, and will not be a party to their breach, evasion or subversion.
Chief Minister, were you, any of your staff or your representatives involved at any level in influencing or directing the sale or withdrawal of sale of the Canberra Labor Club Group? If so, who and in what manner were they involved?
MR STANHOPE: If the Leader of the Opposition actually suggests in his question or imputes that I may have broken the law or a member of my staff may have broken the