Page 366 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Yes, there has been a complaint lodged with the Office of Regulatory Services. I am advised that the Office of Regulatory Services is currently looking at the circumstances surrounding a possible breach of process in the ACT branch of the Liberal Party as an incorporated association.
Obviously, this is a very serious matter and I think it highlights and confirms some of the circumstances we have seen over the past couple of weeks and the dissention—
MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Corbell! You have been asked a question about a particular matter. The standing orders require you to answer the question and be directly relevant to the question. I just remind you of the standing orders.
MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am outlining the circumstances I understand that have led to the complaint. Of course, these circumstances are very serious ones in relation to any incorporated association. It is, of course, important that incorporated associations at all times abide by their rules, abide by the requirements of their constitution when it comes to the interests of their members. It is always of concern to the government when incorporated associations, particularly those which are political parties, see complaints lodged with the Registrar-General in relation to possible breaches of process.
Of course, this highlights I think the significant dissention and division that exists amongst the party of those opposite, Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, I will draw your attention to the standing order that requires you to be directly relevant. I have reminded you already. The question is: has there been a complaint? You will answer the question as to whether there has been a complaint. It would be perhaps inappropriate of you to hypothesise about the nature of that complaint unless you are very well informed.
MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am not hypothesising. I am referring directly to those matters which are of significant public interest. These are affairs that have captivated the Canberra community over the last couple of months—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, sit down.
Mr Corbell: Am I hypothesising again, Madam Speaker?
MADAM SPEAKER: Sit down! Mr Corbell, I should not have to use my mother voice to get you to sit down.
Mr Corbell: You are certainly not my mother, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: First of all, you will be respectful of everyone in this chamber and when I tell you to sit down, you sit down the first time. Mr Corbell, I have drawn your attention on two occasions to standing order 118(a) and I have asked you to be concise and directly relevant and you have failed to do so. Is there a supplementary question?