Page 367 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013
MR GENTLEMAN: My supplementary is to the Attorney-General again. Can you tell me, Attorney-General, what does this complaint relate to?
MR CORBELL: Of course, this complaint relates to the significant dissension we have seen in the Liberal Party over the last couple of weeks. Clearly the complaint has been lodged by a member of the incorporated association and they have raised the matter with the Office of Regulatory Services because they are concerned that the complaint raises matters around access to the records of the association. This is a very serious matter. It is not for me to judge whether or not the complaint can be substantiated, but the government is always concerned to ensure that incorporated associations, particularly those which are political organisations, are making sure that all members are appropriately dealt with and engaged in the process.
Mr Coe: Point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, you have a point of order.
Mr Coe: I draw your attention to the fact that the minister is discussing what may or may not be an individual’s complaint to the government authority and I wonder whether it is appropriate in this place to be canvassing that particular complaint.
MADAM SPEAKER: I have been thinking about that myself, Mr Coe. I think that the standing orders, however, do allow some latitude for the minister to answer the question and to canvass these matters. I think that again the minister has to be directly relevant to the question, but I think the question is able to be answered.
MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was asked: what does the complaint relate to? It relates to concerns about the access to records of the association in question, that being the Liberal Party of Australia, ACT division. The complaint—
MS PORTER: Supplementary.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, what is being done about this complaint?
MR CORBELL: The government is always concerned about any suggestion that there may have been some sort of skulduggery in relation to these types of matters. Therefore I can advise the Assembly that the Office of Regulatory Services has written to the association requesting further particulars about the complaint so that further inquiries that are necessary can be made. This is the standard process when a complaint is made about an incorporated association. Obviously these are very serious matters. It is most unusual for members of incorporated associations to raise concerns about their internal governance with the registrar-general. The registrar-general takes these matters very seriously. The registrar-general will ask for further particulars from the incorporated association, in this case being the Liberal Party of Australia, ACT division, and will seek to ensure that the association’s constitution and rules are being adhered to. This of course is the obligation on the part of the registrar-general and I am confident that he will take all appropriate steps.