Page 5508 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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MR SMYTH: Just to clarify, where I said he lied is in the statement that he tabled yesterday. Mr Hargreaves is confused over the RSPCA motion as opposed to Mr Corbell’s answer on the issue that he tabled yesterday.

Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, there is a difference between giving incorrect information which was provided to the minister and telling a lie. The nuance between those two is quite clear to the ordinary man in the street. Mr Smyth knows that and should be asked to withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: Members, it is quite clear that even in the space of a censure motion unparliamentary words remain so. Mr Smyth, I would ask you to proceed and be careful with your words and not delve into the ground of unparliamentary language. Thank you.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker, I will finish. I will go back to the point because clearly Mr Hargreaves either does not understand or chooses not to understand. The last paragraph in a written answer to a question on notice that Mr Corbell tabled in this place says:

It is clear from a review of the committee inquiry into the murder bill that the director made very specific statements about the maximum penalty for manslaughter and other maximum penalties …

He did not. He made a statement about flexibility in sentencing, which we all agree upon. Judges have flexibility in sentencing from the maximum penalty to release. Nobody is quibbling on that point. That is not the DPP saying that sentences were adequate. Mr Corbell compounds the mislead by writing this and tabling it as some sort of justification without any proof. Again, Ms Hunter, you can speak again and show me these statements that exist. You cannot because they do not, and that is why Mr Corbell should be censured. The censures will stop when the minister starts telling the truth.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.56): Mr Speaker, I was not intending to speak until Ms Gallagher did. I think what she said has essentially condemned Mr Corbell. I ask Ms Hunter to listen closely to what I say to you because she will probably make the decision about the vote here. What Ms Gallagher said—and I will quote it—is that she took the word “flexibility” to suit her political cause and she was alleging that that was what Mrs Dunne had done: she had taken the word “flexibility” to suit her political cause. Ms Gallagher pointed to that as a crime that Mrs Dunne had committed in this place.

This is the whole point of the argument—that in fact it was not Mrs Dunne that did that. Mrs Dunne has litigated a case to point out that it is Mr Corbell that has done exactly that—that, in Ms Gallagher’s words, somebody has taken the word “flexibility” to suit their political cause. That is exactly what Simon Corbell did. He chose to take the words of the DPP that there was flexibility and allege that that meant adequate, when it is clearly the case that the DPP did not mean that. In fact, the DPP ruled that out when, at the start of giving evidence to the committee in question, the DPP said:

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