Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 20 August 2009) . . Page.. 3481 ..
I have made abundantly clear in the Legislative Assembly that the government opposes suggestions by the Liberal Party’s spokesman that I should use the Human Rights Act 2004 as a way of the government taking over non-government teaching and curriculum …
That statement is not true. That statement bears no resemblance to the truth. This is a minister who has absolutely no regard for the truth when he corresponds with industry in this area.
That is a disgraceful statement. Let us just reflect on it for a moment. Members of the community and stakeholders are entitled to expect that when they receive correspondence from a minister of this government the correspondence will be true. It is a reasonable expectation of any member of the public, any stakeholder, that when the minister writes to them what the minister says is true. This minister has had no regard to that expectation, no regard to that basic standard of decency, that basic standard of honour that we would expect of any individual in our community, but most particularly of our public representatives and of our ministers, who are bound by higher standards than even the rest of the community.
This minister, for his own short-term political gain, felt that he could go out there and just say whatever he wanted. If it is not true, it does not matter. Just make it up to try and put the shadow education minister in a bad light. How embarrassing it will be for Minister Barr when Mr Doszpot is forced to write to all of these individuals, anyone who has received this letter, and correct the record. He is going to have to write to them and say that what Minister Barr said was a lie; what Minister Barr said was not true; what Minister Barr said had no honour and no decency and brought him, as a minister, into disrepute. That is what Mr Doszpot will have to say when he writes to these individuals.
He wrote to them in order to try and get some cheap political gain. He dreamed up this scheme that he would totally verbal Mr Doszpot. He would put something in a letter that bore no resemblance to the truth. This is the quality of the man. This is the character of this minister. It is perhaps because of these qualities that some of his right faction colleagues have jumped ship and he now no longer has the numbers to take the leadership. We can only assume that someone internally has determined that he does not have the judgement or the character to lead a political party in this place.
If this is how he acts, as minister, when the community expects that the correspondence that they receive from a minister will be true and accurate—
Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MR SESELJA: Could we stop the clock, Madam Assistant Speaker?
Mr Corbell: Standing order 55 states:
All imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on Members shall be considered highly disorderly.