Honourable Member For Fairfield Sexual Assault Allegation ICAC Investigation
Mr SOURIS: My question is directed to the Premier. Why is it that for nearly two months the Premier has done absolutely nothing to investigate serious allegations of a cover-up and intimidation on the part of the Speaker, yet it took the Commissioner of Police just days to realise how serious such allegations are and to refer them to the ICAC? Is this indicative of the Premier's attitude to allegations of sexual assault in this Parliament?
Mr CARR: The seriousness of any allegation of sexual assault is confirmed by the fact that the Government regards it as a matter for the police and for the courts. When this matter came to the attention of any of us it was in terms of a police inquiry being conducted.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I place the honourable member for Hornsby on two calls to order.
Mr CARR: That is how it was presented. As I reported to Parliament on the last sitting week when we discussed this matter, it came to my attention as a result of media inquiries to my office about an alleged police investigation of an allegation of sexual assault. It is a criminal offence and it belongs with the police investigation, leading, if the police think it is justified, to action in the courts. This is a matter for the police and for the courts. That is the view the Government takes. It remains to be pointed out that no-one is suggesting Mr Speaker discussed this with the woman concerned.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to order for the second time.
Mr CARR: To the best of my knowledge, the woman concerned is not proceeding with the complaint.
Ms Seaton: Why not?
Mr CARR: Don't ask me, ask her. The Hon. Dr A. Chesterfield-Evans, the leader of the party to which this woman belongs, has gone on record in at least a dozen media interviews saying that there was no attempt at intimidation, and I understand he was the only one who was involved in a conversation with Mr Speaker. I am certain that an Opposition that is a total policy shambles, that is where it is in the opinion polls and that is divided over its leadership will fall with relish on any allegation of sexual assault involving a member of Parliament. That is all members opposite have done. This matter remains, because of its seriousness, a matter for police investigation and for the courts.