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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 569

Mr PRICE (12:01 PM) —Mr Speaker, I rise to advise the House of a possible breach of privilege. Last Thursday, 4 February, the Public Works Committee held a private meeting with officials of the Department of Defence to discuss the single living environment and accommodation precinct project phase 2, known as ‘Single LEAP 2’. At the meeting, the Defence officials emphasised that they would be discussing commercially sensitive information and requested the committee’s agreement that the briefing be treated as confidential. The committee agreed that the briefing would be confidential.

An article in the Townsville Bulletin of 5 February contained information provided to the committee at the briefing. The journalist identified his source as the honourable member for Herbert, a member of the committee. At a meeting called today, the committee resolved that it would investigate the newspaper article as representing an unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings. The committee is particularly concerned that the unauthorised disclosures of information given in confidence may interfere with the committee’s ability to hold frank discussions in future with officials about public works. I wish to advise the House that the committee will conduct its own inquiries and report its findings to both chambers.