Monday, November 20, 2006

We ask should Peter Debnam be expelled from Parliament if he continues to smear other MPs with his malicious lies ???

Debnam forced to reshuffle cabinet

Imre Salusinszky, NSW political reporter
November 20, 2006

A WEEK that began triumphantly for Peter Debnam ended in defeat yesterday, with the NSW Opposition Leader forced to reshuffle his shadow cabinet after a frontbencher he supported was dumped by the Liberal preselectors.

Former disability services spokesman John Ryan failed to secure a winnable position on the Liberal upper house ticket on Saturday. Instead, the two electable spots went to former Georges River MP Marie Ficarra and the party's country vice-president, Scott McDonald.

They are aligned with the party's Right. Mr Ryan is a leading light of the party's Left.

Along with finance spokeswoman Peta Seaton, who will retire at the March 24 election, Mr Ryan provides the strongest link to former Liberal leader John Brogden. Mr Brogden was forced to resign last year as a result of inappropriate behaviour at a public function, but also claimed he had been undermined by the Right.

There was some consolation for the Left yesterday when Mr Debnam brought two MPs aligned with the faction on to the Opposition front bench.

Bega MP Andrew Constance picks up Mr Ryan's portfolio of disability services and ageing, while Hornsby MP Judy Hopwood gets mental health and community services. Mr Debnam said that he had been planning a reshuffle but it had been brought forward by Mr Ryan's defeat.

And in a sign he plans to focus the election campaign on the sluggish NSW economy, he has handed his Treasury responsibilities across to deputy leader Barry O'Farrell, the party's strongest media and parliamentary performer.

Mr Ryan hit out yesterday at the party's state executive.

"Rank-and-file members can be forgiven for making the odd mistake, but there are 10 or 11 people on the state executive who did not vote for me," he told The Australian. failed to win a place on the Upper House ticket and has been replaced by David Clark MLC choice .

ED: The vote is another blow to Opposition Leader Peter Debnam, who publicly backed Mr Ryan.

The NSW Opposition Leader Peter Debnam is once again in deep water over making an unsubstantiated slur against yet another member of Parliament .

Prove it now or step aside Mr Debnam

Anne Davies November 17, 2006

You grub … the Attorney-General, Bob Debus, responds to allegations made by the Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam, in State Parliament yesterday.


AS BOB DEBUS rose from his seat on the front bench, after being named in Parliament as the minister under investigation, he was terrifying in his anger and anguish.

The colour had drained from his usually tanned face and his well-modulated broadcaster's voice crackled with emotion."Let us be clear, I am not under investigation for anything, nor have I ever been found to have committed even the slightest transgression by any tribunal of fact anywhere."

And nobody in this place believes the nonsensical allegations that you are now raising. And this is my challenge to you, you grub. Walk 15 paces out there and say it again, say it now," he thundered.Bob Debus had a right to be angry.

Upper House MP Charlie Lynn alleged in Parliament in 2003 that a minister had sex with a 15-year-old boy in 1998 and that the police investigation was unsatisfactory. At least Lynn had the courage of his convictions to detail what he believed was evidence of a wayward police investigation into pedophilia.

After a Police Integrity Commission investigation, which cleared both the investigating officers and the minister, Lynn apologised.Now Debnam has raised a new claim: that a Wood Royal Commission witness has complained to the Police Integrity Commission about misuse of ministerial power.

The claim appears to be related, but Debnam refused to elaborate beyond these small shards of information. He also refused to front the media, leaving his allegations amounting to no more than a hollow claim that an unnamed person has made a complaint about something to the Police Integrity Commission.

Debnam's defence was truly infantile: he was just asking "a very reasonable flow of questions" and carrying out his job of making the Government accountable.But to suggest any question is permissible under parliamentary privilege is to completely traduce the entire notion of the privilege.When the privilege is relied upon it is accompanied by a moral responsibility to use it only when there is an issue of public importance and a factual and reasonable basis for asserting something. The more serious the allegation and the damage to a person's reputation, the greater the burden of responsibility.Privilege is not there to go on fishing expeditions, or to get yourself out of a tight spot. Yet Debnam's actions of yesterday smack of just that.

If he has evidence he must put it up or he should consider his future.After Debnam's alarming exhortations to police to arrest Middle Eastern thugs for "anything" and his apparent lack of regard for the separation between the judiciary and Parliament, this latest intemperateness should not surprise.

But this time he may have cost himself more than a few points in the polls.


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