Page 300 - Week 01 - Thursday, 29 November 2012

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MADAM SPEAKER: I think I did touch on some of these issues about language yesterday, as to what is offensive and disorderly language. My understanding is that they are imputations of improper motives, and I do not believe that Mr Smyth’s question implied improper motives. I think he was asking about the minister’s capacity at mathematics, which is not an improper motive. It may be sailing close to the wind but I do not believe that it is an imputation of improper motives.

Mr Corbell: Thank you, Madam Speaker. On that matter then, is it relevant to Ms Burch’s ministerial responsibilities as outlined in the administrative orders?

MADAM SPEAKER: On the subject that Ms Burch is the minister for education, and I think Mr Smyth’s question was how could people in the education community respect her as education minister, I think that it is relevant to her ministerial responsibilities.

MS BURCH: I am quite happy to answer the question and to inform those opposite that I have been greeted very warmly and the sector is looking forward to me being the minister for education. I have met the school leaders and I have met—

Mr Hanson: I bet they are.

MS BURCH: They are seriously welcoming me as the minister. What is an embarrassment, and what they have said to me, is how can someone go to the election with an education commitment that forgets a key sector of our education and training portfolio, and that is the CIT. So the only embarrassment in this room is Steve Doszpot, who held the portfolio for four years and could not even remember to put it in his budget.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. During question time on Tuesday you were asked when you had decided to amalgamate the Treasury and CMD and whether there would be job losses. You stated you made the decision “prior to the announcement being made”. Chief Minister, given that your previous statements to the community include “there will be no school closures”, when you closed 23 schools, and “all our health plans are on the table”, when they clearly were not, how do you expect the community to reach any other conclusion than that your statement was deliberately evasive and tricky, that you had made this decision before the election and, once again, you had not told the community your real plans?

Mr Corbell: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Corbell.

Mr Corbell: I would ask your guidance, Madam Speaker, in relation to the question Mr Smyth asked and the fact that it raises a series of arguments. It is one thing to ask a question with a factual statement; it is another to lace the question with argument, which is exactly what Mr Smyth has just done. I would ask you to rule on whether it is in order.

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