STANDING COMMITTEE ON
PROCEDURE AND PRIVILEGES — FIFTY-SIXTH REPORT —LEGAL ADVICE
1120. Hon MICHAEL MISCHIN to the Leader of the House
representing the Attorney General:
refer to the correspondence from the President and Clerk of the Legislative
Council provided by the Attorney General and his chief of staff to
members of the media.
(1) Will the
Attorney General table copies of the correspondence he provided to members of
the media; and, if they were provided under cover of a letter or email, a copy
of the letter or email?
(2) Can the
Attorney General advise whether he did the President or the Clerk the courtesy
of informing them that he was going to provide those documents to the media;
and, if not, why not?
(3) Can the
Attorney General identify those documents that were provided before the
committee tabled its report containing them, and identify the date and means
and to whom they were provided?
(4) Can the Attorney General articulate precisely the
public interest that providing these documents was to serve?
(5) Can the
Attorney General table the invitation that his chief of staff provided to
former media colleagues, and identify those former colleagues?
(6) Can the
Attorney General explain the reason why his chief of staff showed that document
to former colleagues and whether it was with his knowledge and consent?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1)–(6) The Attorney General showed a reporter from The
West Australian a letter from the Clerk of the house dated 28 August 2019,
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