Page 3639 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009

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Wednesday, 26 August 2009

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Unparliamentary language

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, I wish to make a statement concerning the use of unparliamentary words. Standing order 56 states that when offensive or disorderly words are used, whether by a member who is addressing the chair or by a member who is present, the Speaker shall intervene. My attention has been drawn to comments made last Thursday in the discussion of the matter of public importance by Mr Doszpot, who stated, “Minister Barr is an out and out liar.” It has long been the practice of this legislature that it is unparliamentary to call another member a liar, and I therefore call upon Mr Doszpot to withdraw the words.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella): Mr Speaker, I withdraw those comments.

Minister for Education and Training

Motion of censure

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (10.01), by leave: I move:

That this Assembly censures the Minister for Education and Training for using his office as Minister to make a false and misleading statement about another Member of this Assembly in the form of a letter to the Non-Government Schools Education Council for his own political gain, and for displaying a pattern of behaviour of misleading the ACT Legislative Assembly for his own political gain.

Mr Speaker, the minister has left me no choice but to move this censure motion today. Andrew Barr has abused his position as a minister of this place and has also treated the community with contempt. Mr Barr has a pattern of behaviour in this regard and once again he has misled this Assembly.

Members may recall last week during the discussion of a matter of public importance that I made mention of a matter that had concerned me greatly. On Tuesday, 18 August 2009, the minister tabled in the ACT Assembly a ministerial response to the Non-Government Schools Education Council. The response was dated 28 July and included the following statement.

I have made abundantly clear in the Legislative Assembly that the government opposes suggestions by the Liberal Party spokesman that I should use the Human Rights Act 2004 as a way of the government taking over non-government teaching and curriculum …

This assertion is false and patently political and made without any evidence to support it. I have never made these statements and no evidence can be found in Hansard,

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