Page 4053 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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may have been in breach of the act. Mrs Dunne has received no response to either of these letters, but after receiving Mrs Dunne’s two letters, you made public statements in relation to the matters raised in those letters. Minister, given the seriousness of the matters raised by Mrs Dunne, why have you failed to respond formally to Mrs Dunne’s two letters and when will you provide that response?

MS BURCH: I hope to get a response to Mrs Dunne by the end of this week.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.


MR SMYTH: Minister, is it your usual practice to ignore important correspondence from MLAs, instead seeking to respond by making public statements?

MS BURCH: There are various demands on my office and my time and what letters I respond to. I can assure Mrs Dunne that she will get a response to her letter at the end of the week.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, given that you have admitted that you have known about this issue since July, was it the case that it was because I raised this issue with you and raised it with statutory office-holders that you actually went public on this issue?

Dr Bourke: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the original question was about correspondence in the minister’s office and the response to it but I have not heard that with regard to Mrs Dunne’s question.

MR SPEAKER: I think we might have the question again, Mrs Dunne. Dr Bourke, in taking your point of order, I actually lost my train of thought on Mrs Dunne’s question. So let us have the question again.

MRS DUNNE: The question was: given that Minister Burch has admitted that she knew about this since July, did she go public as a result of my letters?

MR SPEAKER: On that basis I think the question is in order, Dr Bourke. It relates to the letters that Mrs Dunne sent, which is the line of questioning. Minister Burch, you have the floor.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I hate to disappoint Mrs Dunne, but the answer is no, it was not in response to her letters.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

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