Page 5586 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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At the end of the day, it is the process where I believe the Chief Minister went out of her way to put undue pressure on the committee that has brought us here today. There was the early release of the press release. It is not just a press release announcing the nominee; it is a press release that announces the new Auditor-General. That is how it is headed “New Auditor-General for the ACT”. It does not say “nominee”. It says “New Auditor-General for the ACT”. It is very clear what the purpose of putting that press release out was—very clear.

And there is the fact that it was followed up by a visit from the Chief Minister to the office of the head of the public accounts committee and what the head of the public accounts committee was told. She said:

My memory is that Ms Gallagher also stated that Dr Cooper was the Government’s nominee and that she (Dr Cooper) would be the new Auditor-General. I do not remember us discussing the merits of the appointment or the candidate.

“Don’t worry about the merits. Don’t worry about the appropriateness of this person. She will be, because I have so desired. I have said so; it will be so.” That is not how it works. That is why PAC has not—

Mr Seselja: They fell into line.

MR SMYTH: The Greens did fall into line. The Greens abandoned the Greens member of the PAC committee today because they voted for the Chief Minister’s view of the world instead of voting for the truth. The question is: what is in this statement for Ms Le Couteur? There is nothing except that Ms Le Couteur tells the truth, and she told the committee that throughout the entire process. This motion should be supported. (Time expired.)

Question put:

That Mr Smyth’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Hanson

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Seselja

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Ms Gallagher

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the negative.

It being 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business, the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 77. Ordered that the time allotted to Assembly business be extended by 30 minutes.

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