Page 5386 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

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MR HARGREAVES: In relation to the question that Mrs Dunne raised, to the minister, is the constant criticism of the NBSS and your own officers having a detrimental morale effect on those charged with looking after our own vulnerable kids?

Mrs Dunne: This question has been asked before. On the question, Mr Speaker, I seek you to rule the question out of order. Mr Hargreaves has asked exactly that same question on a couple of occasions. The standing orders say that a question fully answered cannot be asked again.

Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the question has been asked in a similar vein but not exactly. Second of all, I would like to see whether the minister has anything further to add to that question, and Mrs Dunne could not possibly know what is in the mind of the minister. She does not know what is in her own mind, let alone that of the minister. I am just sick and tired of it. You just do not like it, do you, being put on the spot.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves, thank you.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Mr Hargreaves just said Mrs Dunne does not know what is in her own mind. I would consider that unparliamentary and I would ask him to withdraw that.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, I would ask you to withdraw. I think it was an unnecessary contribution.

Mr Hargreaves: Happily, I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mrs Dunne, I think this sits right in the grey zone of this standing order. One can interpret Mr Hargreaves’s question as whether something has changed since the last time he asked it, and I think that makes it difficult to rule the question out of order. Minister, in answering the question, if you can give us an update since the last time Mr Hargreaves asked a similar question.

MR HARGREAVES: Could I add to my own question? Has there been any further detrimental effect on the morale of your department?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. I am quite happy to provide an update to the Assembly about the impact on and the commentary that I have had from members of the care and protection area. Certainly, they have been welcoming of my support to them and they have also appreciated the openness of this government in providing that legal advice at the earliest opportunity, which I did yesterday. They thought that was in the best interests, given that this is an important matter for our society. How do we respond to those most vulnerable? There was a question over that. There was a question about how we responded to the most vulnerable, and we provided the Solicitor-General’s advice in this place.

The other comment that I have heard is that if people were given the choice about taking—

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