Ms DAWKINS (Bass) - Madam Speaker, I rise to correct the record. I tabled a document which showed that a greyhound called Wee Fire was deceased, but she has been found alive and well in happy retirement, which is excellent news and a really happy story. I apologise to Amanda Grice and good on her for finding her a home. I now seek leave to table this document.
Mr FERGUSON (Bass - Leader of Government Business) - Madam Speaker, on the seeking of leave I feel it is important at this point to make a brief comment on this process. I will reflect on this again. I have said in the past in this House that we all want to be responsible for documents that are tabled and therefore attract privilege. The document that has now been found to have an error in it, which contained a Tasmanian citizen's name, has quite deliberately as part of that, an assertion of character that goes with the tabling of that document. That document has now attracted legal privilege so, in fact, it could be said that the member has defamed a Tasmanian person under parliamentary privilege.
We all understand that mistakes are made at times, but this is very concerning to me and I do not want to see it happen again. I have in the past been described as being unfair or overbearing for not agreeing to motions seeking leave for the tabling of documents. The Government and I take this quite seriously because one of the reasons we are reluctant to agree to documents being tabled, particularly where they have not been shared around so members can see the nature of the material being tabled, is because we owe it to Tasmanians to have a regard for their own protection as well.
There are purposes for tabling documents in this House. I am going to reflect on this because I am quite concerned about it. Madam Speaker, I will seek to discuss the matter with you as well, because I think now quite properly the House needs to contact this person and offer them an opportunity of right of reply, and indeed the other people on these documents who may or may not know they have been named in Parliament for having owned a dog that may or may not have been euthanased, for good or bad reason.
I am not happy about it and I do not want to see it happen again. For that reason this side of this House will be less inclined than ever before to agreeing to documents being tabled when it is simply part of a member's individual campaign and they are quite happy to use Tasmanian's names in a disrespectful way when in fact potentially their own rights are being eroded. It is for those reasons that the government reluctantly agrees to the giving of leave on this occasion, but we will be less likely than ever in the future when we are asked again.