Page 5311 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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On one other matter, relating to question time, yesterday the Chief Minister raised a point of order concerning my ruling that a supplementary question was out of order. I originally thought Mr Stanhope’s point of order was as to whether a question ruled out of order was taken into consideration by me when allocating the call for supplementaries. It seems that I misunderstood the Chief Minister’s question. Following a further conversation, I wish to point out that if a supplementary question is ruled out of order, it does not mean that an extra supplementary question can be asked. In other words, only three supplementaries can be asked after the original question is asked, regardless of whether a question is ruled out of order. I am sorry, Chief Minister, for misunderstanding your question yesterday but I was corrected later in the day.

Mr Stanhope: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I hope that clarifies both of those matters for members.

Questions without notice

ACT Gambling and Racing Commission—inquiry

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Gaming and Racing and concerns the Gambling and Racing Commission inquiry into potential breaches of the gambling and racing act by the ACT Labor Club. Minister, yesterday during the debate on the EPIC board the Treasurer said:

The government recognises the potential for public servants to have conflicting interests when sitting on the board of a territory authority. On the one hand they are employed by the territory, and in most cases within the department that administers the enabling legislation of the authority.

On the other hand, they have a responsibility to that authority to act in its best interests. The government’s recognition of that potential for conflicting interest is reflected implicitly in the very low numbers of public servants that are currently appointed to the boards of our authority, or of our authorities.

Minister, given the government’s position as stated by the Treasurer, is there a conflict of interest in having a public servant, the CEO of the Gambling and Racing Commission, investigating an entity that is controlled and/or influenced by members of the government and their staff?


MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, where is the inquiry up to, have you been briefed and when do you expect to receive the report?

MR BARR: The inquiry is a matter for the Gambling and Racing Commission. I met with the commission yesterday to have an initial briefing, having taken responsibility for the portfolio. I did ask on progress and was advised that the inquiry was not complete and would be unlikely to be complete this calendar year.

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