Page 1317 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 9 April 2013
I thank the witnesses who gave evidence: the Chief Minister, the Treasurer and officials from the directorates. I also thank my colleagues on the public accounts committee: Ms Porter, Mr Smyth, and the chair, Mr Seselja.
In the four months since the public accounts committee was formed after last year’s election we have met many times. The range of inquiries PAC undertakes is an essential accountability mechanism to ensure good government for the people of Canberra. The importance of the role of the public accounts committee was reflected last November when the then Leader of the Opposition chose to chair this committee. I believe it is now time for the current opposition leader to take on this role. It is time for Mr Hanson to fully take on the duties as opposition leader and take on the duties as chair of the public accounts committee as well. He must demonstrate some leadership and call on the senator preselect, Zed Seselja, to resign from the ACT Legislative Assembly.
MADAM SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, sit down, please. I think I have had this conversation on a number of occasions with members of this place. I ask members to refer to people by their names and no other epithets. Thank you, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. With Mr Seselja’s preselection confirmed, the clock is ticking on Mr Hanson to stand up for the residents of Tuggeranong to make sure they are being represented by a member of the Legislative Assembly interested in serving their needs.
Mr Seselja was preselected over Senator Humphries back in February. He has earned $19,657.90 as at 9 April since being preselected. This figure goes up by $436.40 every single day until the issuing of writs on—
Mr Smyth: A point of order, Madam Speaker. I am not aware that funding for Mr Seselja was appropriated in the Appropriation Bill 2012-13 (No 2). Perhaps you would ask the member to be relevant.
MADAM SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order, Dr Bourke. Standing orders require you to be relevant to the question that the report be noted. I ask you to be relevant to the issues in the report. Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Thank you. As chair of the public accounts committee, Mr Seselja is not providing reasonable representation for the people of Tuggeranong, who are now represented by four instead of five MLAs.
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Madam Speaker, as chair of the public accounts committee, Mr Seselja is not there to represent the people of Tuggeranong; he is actually there to run a committee, which he has done and which has delivered this report. If Dr Bourke is not going to be relevant, then he should sit down.
MADAM SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, I uphold the point of order made by Mr Smyth. I was actually going to make the following comment as well: this is a matter about the report of the public accounts committee and you are coming very close to reflecting