Page 5510 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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That has been the consistent view of the DPP. Mr Corbell said on three occasions, and I think he repeated it again today, that his officials have spoken with the DPP who has subsequently said that he did not have an issue with the penalty of manslaughter. I have had conversations and communication with the DPP on the issue of sentencing in a range of areas, including manslaughter. The DPP has said to me that he has never expressed a view about the sentence for manslaughter. That is pretty much a “he said, she said” thing and I am not proposing that we embarrass the DPP by bringing him to the bar of the Assembly or anything like that to set the record straight.

What the DPP has said to me in private communication and private conversation is that he has never expressed a view on manslaughter. That is borne out by his public statements in the committee that you, Madam Deputy Speaker, attended, where he said: “I will not pontificate. I will begin with the caveat that I am a public official and it is not my job to express a view on policy. That is a job for the government and essentially the Legislative Assembly.” He said it over and over again. He said: “I will not pontificate. I will not raise my views here in the committee. If I have a problem I will raise them in the court.” And he did not.

It is not about what “flexibility” means. It is about what he said and what he did not say. He clearly did not say that he had a view about the penalty for manslaughter. That is what this boils down to. The attorney had an opportunity after Mr Doszpot raised the question to set the record straight. He could have come in here and said: “I read a speech. I didn’t check it. And yes, Mr Doszpot, there is doubt.”

But he did not do that. He chose to repeat it and he then chose to table a document which is in itself misleading, which is in itself wrong, because he claims in that document that the DPP, in the committee that you attended, Madam Deputy Speaker, made specific statements that back up what the attorney said. We all know, especially those members who were present, that he did not make those. I commend the motion to the house. It is quite clear that the attorney has misled and he should be censured for that misleading.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Seselja

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the negative.

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