Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 It is my intention, Mr Speaker, to look with some care at the comments of the minister .. . Suffice it to say that I am not given to making allegations like those I made on 4 March unless I am satisfied in my own mind that they have substance. Of course, the ball is currently in your court, Mr Speaker. I believe that the matters that I referred to prior to the luncheon adjournment raise a definite matter of privilege and I leave the ball in your court. When the member for MacDonnell had finished, Mr Speaker said: I believe the Chair has heard enough. We will proceed to business of the day. At some later stage in these sittings, I will inform the member for MacDonnell what my intentions are in relation to whether or not I shall refer the matter to the Privileges Committee. Mr Speaker responded later in the day and gave a ruling on his decision. In that response, he said: It has been the traditional practice of the Westminster-style of parliament to treat the making of deliberately misleading statements by a member as grave contempt. He went on to say: Accordingly, I advise the Assembly that I do not propose to refer the complaint to the Committee of Privileges. In the adjournment debate on that same night, 20 May 1993. the member for MacDonnell said: I want to raise a number of issues in this evening's adjournment debate. However, before I come to those, I would like to say a few words about my request for you to refer a matter to the Privileges Committee. Mr Speaker, because of the relatively short time that elapsed between your decision and the statement by the former Minister for Lands and Housing, apparently outlining a letter to him which he described as 'legal advice from the Department of Law', I will be studying that a little more carefully before I respond to his comments. Suffice it to say that I am not satisfied that the minister has dealt honestly either with myself or this Assembly. However, I will take that up next week. Mr Speaker, the letter he was referring to was tabled when I made my personal explanation. It was a letter from the Solicitor for the Northern Territory to Mr Peter Conran. I will reaffirm what was said in the last 3 paragraphs of that letter: No documentation has been produced to suggest that either the Department of Lands and Housing or the Planning Authority had ever made Mr Ortmann aware of the documents in question. No evidence was produced in the Supreme Court hearing to suggest that Mr Ortmann had ever seen the documents. In the absence of any objective evidence that Mr Ortmann saw the documents, Mr Bell's criticisms cannot be sustained. On the other hand, Mr Bell appears to have misled the House by referring to the 12 September 1989 recommendation to reject Mr Hornsby's first 10 263