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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 26 August 2010) . . Page.. 3999 ..

Thursday, 26 August 2010

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.

Minister for Ageing

Motion of censure

MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.01): I seek leave to move a motion of censure.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe. Has that motion been circulated?


Leave granted.

MR COE: It is with disappointment that I rise today to move a motion of censure on Ms Burch. I think Ms Burch’s conduct over the last week has been particularly disappointing and extremely unprofessional. I will give some background as to why we are moving this disappointing motion today. We on this side of the chamber have no pride or no pleasure in moving such motions, but we feel it is important to make sure that we do not allow such a precedent to occur in this place. On 19 August, Ms Burch responded to a question from Ms Porter. The question was with regard to housing for older persons. This is the question that Ms Porter asked:

My question is to the Minister for Ageing. Can the minister inform the Assembly about the progress in the development of the stimulus funded older persons’ accommodation?

Ms Burch went on to answer that question in some detail. In fact, the question was prearranged, as was, of course, the answer. Ms Burch had a written answer to that question which Ms Porter asked. The text that Ms Burch read included:

The first site in Macquarie, with some 13 homes, is completed and is currently being allocated.

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the censure motion is yet to be tabled in this place. I have not yet seen the terms of the motion. I do not know whether any advice was given to the minister of an intention to move this censure motion, but we are yet to even see the terms of the censure. Until we see the terms of the censure it is very unreasonable to ask members to prepare for this debate.

Ms Burch: Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: Is this a point of order, Ms Burch? You cannot enter the substantive debate just now. Stop the clocks, thank you. Mr Corbell, there is no point of order under the standing orders. Nonetheless, I think it is poor form in this chamber to move a motion without circulating it at least in advance.

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