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Committee of Privileges Report on Referral Regarding a Statement by the Member for Blain



Committee of Privileges Report on Referral Regarding a Statement by the Member for Blain

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Tabled Paper 468


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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1 LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 14th Assembly Committee of Privileges Report on Referral regarding a statement by the Member for Blain The Reference On Wednesday, 24 February 2021 the Assembly resolved: that the Assembly refers the following matter to the Committee for Privileges for inquiry and report to the Legislative Assembly by no later than 6 May 2021 pursuant to Standing Order 229, I hereby move that a matter of privilege be for contempt of the Legislative Assembly based upon the following allegations: 1. The Member for Blain made an oral statement to the Legislative Assembly on the evening of Wednesday, 17 February 2021; 2. That statement was materially misleading when the Member for Blain stated that he does not condone illegal activity, when text messages released publicly show that he did condone such activity; 3. That statement was materially misleading the nature of the Member for Blains relationship with the private citizen in question, stating only that we exchanged general conversation, banter, jokes and some intimate conversation, but failing to disclose a physical relationship, which has since been reported widely in the news media; and 4. Stating that he had the Chief Ministers support in making this statement, when the Chief Minister himself said that he did not have his support for altered statement that was delivered on the evening of 17 February 2021. Conduct of the Inquiry The Assembly resolved to refer the statement by the Member of Blain to the Committee of Privileges on 24 February 2021. The Committee met on 3 March 2021 to consider the terms of reference and the inquiry process. On 24 March 2021 the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) wrote to the Committee to advise that he was investigating a matter that involved the Member for Blain and offered to brief the Committee (Appendix A). On 7 April 2021 the Committee met and considered what witnesses may be required for the inquiry and the Letter from the ICAC. On 5 May 2021 the Assembly changed the reporting date for the inquiry to by the conclusion of the first Assembly meeting period in 2022. On 3 September 2021 the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the ICAC wrote to the Committee to advise that the ICAC had received an allegation regarding Mr Turner on 19 January 2021 and commenced an investigation (Appendix B). That investigation was subsequently suspended as it would not be completed during the term of the then ICAC.