Page 458 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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MR CORBELL: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Of course, the preamble is important because it goes to the heart of why this suspension is important. All of these circumstances demand that standing orders be suspended so that the Chief Minister can make a statement to this place outlining the government’s concerns and the government’s position in relation to these matters.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, you will get a chance in a moment.

MR CORBELL: These are some of the most serious allegations that have ever been made about a member of this place in the history of self-government. They are serious matters, and they warrant a serious response.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Corbell, one moment, thank you. Stop the clocks, thank you. There will be a chance for members on the opposite side of the chamber to debate this in a moment. I expect Mr Corbell to be heard.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. They are serious matters. They demand a serious response. The Chief Minister wishes to make a statement in this place outlining the government’s position and view in relation to these allegations because they go to the heart of the integrity of this institution and the operation of self-government as a whole, and the Chief Minister should be permitted to make such a statement.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.04): The standing orders should not be suspended, in part because Ms Gallagher has already made this statement. She has responded to the statement which I made in the Assembly. She was granted leave to do so. We know that it was not a very strong statement, which is why she has gone away and made up all sorts of new material.

Let us go through the process. The Assembly passed a motion. We disagreed with that motion. We believed that if the government were going to apply one standard to us, they should also apply it to themselves. They refused. But the motion nonetheless was passed, it was complied with and there is now a review in place. Ms Gallagher had the opportunity, and was given leave last week, to speak to this issue.

She is now saying that she did not get it right last time, she did not make her case, so she would like a chance to re-litigate it, despite the fact that she voted, along with the Greens, to impose a review. And that process is now underway. She is seeking to undermine the process that the government has put in place and that the Assembly has put in place and she is seeking to re-litigate an issue she has already had the opportunity to speak to in the Assembly last week.

Let us put that into context, Mr Speaker. This is mud-slinging in an election year. Ms Gallagher and her colleagues have hidden behind parliamentary privilege in order

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