Page 4641 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 19 October 2011

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Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2 pm.

Unparliamentary language

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: Members, just prior to the lunch break I was asked to rule on the use of unparliamentary words. Mr Coe raised an issue with me. He asked whether Ms Hunter’s use of the word “bigoted” was unparliamentary. I have reviewed the Hansard over the lunch break. Ms Hunter said: “Apart from being discriminatory and bigoted, this is of course a very ignorant argument …” My view is that she did not refer to an individual as being a bigot but described an argument in such a way. On that ground I do not believe it is unparliamentary.

Questions without notice

Children and young people—care and protection

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Minister, in answering questions about your performance in the Vardon review, you said: “In hindsight I should have picked up on this issue earlier as should have staff within my office. This is an area where I should have done better.”

Minister, are you concerned that after you completely denied any responsibility in this affair, the community is hearing the same sort of problems again and the same excuses from another Labor minister?

MS GALLAGHER: Of course the opposition seeks to link two very different issues and try to make them the same. My comments related to the fact that I was told—not necessarily in a clear way around reports being provided to the department—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Smyth, if you could just give me the respect of allowing me to answer the question that your leader has asked me.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Give me the time to answer the question that your leader has asked me. Then you are given the opportunity to ask a subsequent question, and I can answer that.

It was around my performance in relation to information provided by the former Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, as it was, around reports being made to the Public Advocate—a very different situation from the one Ms Burch faced. And might I say that Ms Burch responded appropriately with that information that she was provided with. She asked further questions. She asked for more information from her department. That information was provided. A review was instigated and we will now respond to that review.

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