Page 3015 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
specifically about the changes in the criminal statistical profile which Minister Corbell tabled in the Assembly. You ruled the question out of order. As I understand it, through being the minister responsible for justice and community safety, including being the minister responsible for police, this would be quite relevant to Mr Corbell’s portfolio. I am unclear why the question was ruled out of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: Unless I misheard—and I am open to correction from Mr Gentleman, because he probably has the exact wording—he asked what had caused the reduction in Indigenous youth incarceration, or words to that effect. My understanding is that Minister Burch is the minister responsible for Indigenous youth incarceration.
MR CORBELL: On that point of order, Madam Speaker, I am the minister for police. Of course, police arrest Indigenous young people. If police are changing the methodologies, the mechanisms or the interventions they use to reduce the number of arrests they have to undertake, surely I am the responsible minister.
MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry, but my understanding of the administrative orders is this. I will reflect on the administrative orders because this has caused some consternation amongst members. Either way I will come back to the Assembly, but if, on reflecting on the administrative orders and the wording of the question, I think I have made an error, I am perfectly happy to acknowledge that I made an error. But on the basis of the question I heard and my understanding of the administrative orders, it would be a question better directed to Minister Burch.
On reflection, perhaps Minister Burch could have answered the question. Mr Corbell could have referred the question to Minister Burch and perhaps we could have got around it then. If members want to indulge us on this occasion, I could ask whether Minister Burch wants to answer the question.
MS BURCH: I think I will refer to Mr Corbell. The question was in relation to statistical reporting. They do not come into my care unless they have been through the law and order process. So the question was right for the Attorney-General to answer.
MADAM SPEAKER: No. I am sorry, but I have made a ruling. I have said that I will reflect on the content of the question and the administrative orders and I will come back to members. I have asked members whether they would like to hear an answer to the question from the minister who I think is responsible under the administrative orders for youth incarceration. Do members not want to hear an answer to the question?
MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, question time has been closed by the Chief Minister.
MADAM SPEAKER: That is right.