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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1100 asked in the Legislative Council on 26 September 2019 by Hon Michael Mischin

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE AND PRIVILEGES — FIFTY-SIXTH REPORT —LEGAL ADVICE

1100. Hon MICHAEL MISCHIN to the Leader of the House representing the Attorney General:

(1) Has any correspondence passing between the President or Clerk of the house and the State Solicitor regarding the legal proceedings concerning Director General Foster been supplied to any reporter of The West Australian by the Attorney General, his chief of staff or any member of his office?

(2) If yes to (1), will the Attorney General identify the correspondence and by whom it was supplied, to whom it was supplied, when it was supplied and by what means, and why it was supplied?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(2) The Attorney General showed a reporter from The West Australian a letter from the Clerk of the house dated 28 August 2019, and not marked confidential, regarding the successful legal proceedings taken by Mr Foster against the President of the house. It was important to inform the public how the Legislative Council had been badly advised to vote for a motion that was beyond its legal powers. The letter showed that the Clerk was relying on an obscure and irrelevant order in the House of Commons from 1641, prior to the execution of the monarch Charles I. The Attorney General relayed to the reporter that he was astounded by the poor quality of advice the Council was receiving, which he saw as a matter of public importance. Neither his chief of staff nor any other staff member was present. The letter was tabled at page 36 of the fifty-sixth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and Privileges.