Page 4228 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Barr.

Mr Barr: You can’t read the motion.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Barr! You can seek leave to speak again, but I will not allow you to interject.

MR HANSON: We heard the shake in his voice when he was speaking. We hear his objections. We hear the sort of mealy-mouthed words from Mr Rattenbury. I wonder if anybody in this place was surprised by Mr Rattenbury’s response this afternoon. Maybe there was someone somewhere who had a glimmer of hope that Mr Rattenbury’s rhetoric might once be matched by his actions. I do not know. It certainly was not me. I would have laid my house on the fact that Mr Rattenbury was going to cave and was going to come in here and say, “I’ve considered. I’ve reviewed. I’ve looked at this. But, funnily enough, I’ve decided to side with the government.” Maybe there is someone who had some remaining shred of hope that Mr Rattenbury might actually decide to hold this government and this minister to account, but no, not the case.

It is a sad day on a number of levels. Firstly, the community will not get the information they need. It is a sad day that this Assembly has decided we are not going to ensure ministers comply with standing orders. I think it shows that this government has something to hide. If Mr Barr had nothing to fear, nothing to hide and was confident that the analysis would demonstrate that rates were not tripling, I reckon he would have been in here probably with a trolley. There would have been grand theatre as he came in here with all the documents and slammed them on the desk. I think the fact that he has had to come in here with this overview, this summary, that has been provided in 2013 rather than the full range of documents goes to motive.

I commend Mr Smyth’s motion to the Assembly. I am disappointed that it will not have the support of the crossbench minister. But, I have to say that, yet again, I am not surprised. When the crossbench minister wonders why the opposition has little faith in him other than as a Labor stooge, he should reflect on this moment, because this moment provides some clarity as to why the community and, indeed, the opposition do not trust Mr Rattenbury when it comes to holding this government to account.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.41): Clearly, the government will not support this motion today. This motion amounts to an absurd level of overreach on the part of the Liberal Party that has been exposed for what it is by the disclosure of the Clerk’s advice to you, Madam Speaker, that there is significant ambiguity around what the resolution meant and that it is quite clear that the resolution adopted by the Assembly on 19 September did not call for documents.

Mr Smyth’s whole argument hinges on the recitation of standing order 213A—order for the production of documents—in clause (2) of the motion adopted on 19 September, which states:

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