Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2011) . . Page.. 4359 ..
MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mrs Dunne, I accept there is some room for you to go to the motivations of why the government might be remiss but let us not dissect each of those in great detail, thank you.
MRS DUNNE: Okay, thank you, Mr Speaker. Just to conclude the point: the government have been casting around for something with which to hit back at the opposition. I must say I was surprised that they would go after Mr Smyth. I was surprised but I thought that they had been casting around, and they have been casting around because they have had such a very bad display. Of course, it shows that they have been casting around when you see the thinness, the complete gossamer, of the case—actually you could not call it a case—put up by Mr Barr.
He spoke for about 6½ or seven minutes. He had nothing to say. He has moved a motion about misleading comments but in the process did not quote one misleading comment. Mr Hargreaves and Ms Gallagher have quoted from the press release. They have also said that there were comments made in the media but they cannot come in here and demonstrate in one place where anything that Mr Smyth may have said in the media was not backed up by things that were said in here and endorsed by members of this place.
The thing that you have to remember, Mr Speaker, is that the motion that was moved by Mr Smyth as a result of his writing to you and your finding precedence was endorsed by the majority of members in this place. With respect to Mr Smyth going out and speaking about that, that is his right as the father of the motion. He is entitled to speak about that. And he did not say anything that was not endorsed in this place.
Mr Hanson was right: when we touch on the performance of the Greens in this, there was a discussion when Mr Barr’s motion was put out about how the Greens were going to approach this. If you look at their track record you would think that they would not support this motion. They were not given notice. The subject of this was not given appropriate notice. They have required appropriate notice in the past. They have required that they be substantial matters. They require it to be serious. There has been one occasion in this Assembly when something close to a censure has passed, and that was when there was a clear breach by the Attorney-General. And that was not a censure. It was a very interesting case.
What we have actually seen is a double standard from the Greens. Everything that they have required from the Canberra Liberals, if we have moved a censure of members opposite, has just been thrown out the window. The issues about notice, about substance—Mr Barr could not make a case. But it is quite clear that Ms Hunter had made up her mind before any of this had been put forward. I think it is because the Greens, and Ms Hunter in particular, probably would have been very uncomfortable on Tuesday having to vote for a privileges committee in the circumstances. I think it must have been a very hard call to support Ms Le Couteur over the Chief Minister last Tuesday, and this is an opportunity to get back in the good books.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (4.06): I will rise very briefly. Mr Hanson said that Mr Smyth had only said what I had said publicly. I would like to point out that I have