Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2011) . . Page.. 4332 ..
Mrs Dunne: Could I ask you to rule on the comments made by Mr Barr about whether or not the establishment of the committee was warranted and whether that is a reflection on the vote of the Assembly.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, I am aware of the point you are making. To be honest, I think the context of Mr Barr’s comments was an acknowledgement of what had happened, as opposed to a reflection. But I remind you, Mr Barr, not to dwell on the previous vote.
MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I was going to say, we understand the absolute right of the Assembly to undertake such an inquiry and to satisfy itself either that the allegations made by Mr Smyth have substance or that they are baseless. As I say, we do not believe that the allegations made by Mr Smyth have merit but we do respect the right of the Assembly to inquire into a serious allegation made by one of its members. But it would appear, Mr Speaker, that Mr Smyth does not—
Mr Seselja interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja!
MR BARR: respect that right. No sooner had the Assembly established the committee than he was out there in the media, improperly attempting to influence the very deliberations of that committee—
Mrs Dunne: A point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR BARR: and falsely and knowingly telling the people of Canberra—
MR SPEAKER: Order, thank you. Stop the clocks. Mrs Dunne.
Mrs Dunne: Mr Barr has just said that Mr Smyth acted improperly. I am not sure that that is entirely parliamentary.
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, this is a censure motion. The whole point of it is to accuse a member of some improper behaviour. In this case the argument is that he has misled the community and has been false in a number of his statements. That is the whole point of the censure. We are criticising Mr Smyth through a substantive motion. That is the point of them.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Whilst a member is not to use unparliamentary words in this form of debate, Mr Corbell’s point is correct in this context.
MR BARR: As I was saying, Mr Smyth does not respect the right of the Assembly. And no sooner had it established the select committee than he was out there seeking to improperly influence the very deliberations of that committee, and falsely and knowingly telling the people of Canberra that a finding had been made against the Chief Minister, that the jury was in and that guilt had been proven. This behaviour is so audacious and so foolhardy that we can assume only one of two things.