Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 817 ..
meeting, that in fact the way it was being rolled out meant that you could not actually properly regulate it.
The people of the ACT told us. The minister said today: “There were warnings given in November. There were warnings to consumers given in November.” He said, “We talked to installers before that.” What did they tell the community? The warnings were so strong that when this first arose neither Minister Corbell nor Minister Barr was actually aware of it. But, apparently, according to them, the people of the ACT should have been. They should have been aware of something ministers apparently had no idea about.
They had these concerns, they expressed them internally, they expressed them to the commonwealth government, but they did not bother to tell the community. No wonder he wanted to cover up. No wonder he did not want to answer, honestly and openly, questions about his involvement in this scheme. No wonder he sought to mislead the Assembly. No wonder he gave us such misleading answers when the response was so inadequate.
It is our understanding—although we hope that the Greens will reconsider their position, particularly given the clarity of some of those documents and what they show—that the Greens will be endorsing this mislead, that the Greens will be saying: “It’s okay to come into this place and mislead the Assembly. It’s okay to come into this place and mislead the Assembly on several occasions.” The Greens will apologise for the minister rather than hold him to account.
We all have an important role to play in this Assembly. The role of those not in government is, first and foremost, to advocate on behalf of their community and to hold ministers and the government to account. That is what we are doing today. This minister tried to stop us getting to the bottom of what he knew, what he did and what the government did in relation to this scheme. He did it by clearly misleading. There has rarely been such a clear case of a minister misleading the Assembly on several occasions. There is no defence. And we have seen from the minister’s shifting defences that he barely believes it. Even when he had the opportunity to correct, he gave further misleading information.
This is a minister who deserves to be censured by this place because he persistently and wilfully misled the Assembly. He misled it in relation to a serious issue. He misled it in relation to a scheme that is potentially linked to house fires in the ACT and has been linked nationally to deaths and house fires. This minister deserves to be condemned by this place. Anyone who does not vote for this motion is endorsing misleading the Assembly and is endorsing this kind of behaviour by Mr Corbell. We will not endorse it. We will hold him to account even if the Greens and the Labor Party will not.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.17): So Mr Corbell does not want to defend himself and the Greens will not speak. That is usual. Madam Assistant Speaker, we have already heard the words that were spoken by Mr Corbell and reported in the Hansard of 11 February 2010. He said:
The government does not have documents in relation to the home insulation program because we do not run the home insulation program.