Page 5363 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.09): Madam Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to explain some words under standing order 47, which the minister clearly doesn’t understand. I do not think I need leave to use standing order 47.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I doubt that you need leave. Please explain.

MRS DUNNE: In compliance with standing order 47 I have to go back to the point where the minister selectively quoted from paragraph 5.8. I would like to point out to members that paragraph 5.8 is the last of three paragraphs—

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker: the standing order is very specific. It allows members to explain words; it does not allow members to go back and put some context around the debate. It says “explain words”. Mrs Dunne must be confined, under this standing order, to explaining words, otherwise it is an abuse of the standing orders. There is a longstanding convention in this place that this standing order is not used to allow members to make further points in the debate; it is simply to explain words, and Mrs Dunne should be held to that.

MRS DUNNE: What I was going to do, Madam Deputy Speaker, was draw members’ attention to the fact that the paragraph the minister quoted from was the last of three paragraphs that relate to a thing called a catastrophic failure, which is a subsection that does not relate—

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker: Mrs Dunne is not explaining words; she is adding context to a debate. She is out of order and she is abusing the standing orders.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, you can only explain your words; you cannot actually debate it through this process. That is all you can do.

MRS DUNNE: Okay. He is too, too tender.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.11): That really was one of the most extraordinary contributions we have seen in this place for some time from Mr Corbell. In spraying the committee and seeking to defend his own position, he has claimed that Ms Hunter, Mrs Dunne and Ms Porter engaged in a sham process. That is what the Attorney-General has just said in this Assembly. He has questioned not just the honour and integrity of his opponents in this place, particularly Mrs Dunne, which we would expect him to do, but he has gone further, and in desperately trying to defend his position he has actually attacked the integrity of Ms Porter, Ms Hunter and Mrs Dunne. He has sprayed his own colleagues because the findings are damning.

The findings are damning and they are unanimous. They are unanimous findings. There is no dissenting report from any of the members. The Labor member, the Green member and the Liberal member on this committee have all agreed to these findings and to these recommendations. They are damning, and we can see why the Attorney-General is so sensitive on this point and why he has now engaged in this extraordinary attack on his own colleague, not only on the basis of the findings but indeed calling into question the integrity of the whole process, calling this committee inquiry—

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