Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4775..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
I have to say that, after reading that letter and learning of Mr Nicholl's comments, I was quite outraged - not so much about that issue but rather, as I said, about the inference that he has drawn. Very recently there have been questions raised in the Wood royal commission about a judge and paedophile activity. No sensible person would say that, therefore, no judge could be trusted with children. The same logic should apply to members of the AFP here in Canberra. Mr Speaker, what is the point of employing police officers if it seems there are members of the judiciary who feel that they do not tell the truth? I think that Magistrate Nicholl should seriously consider his chosen career path if that is the attitude that he wishes to pursue.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Under standing order 54, a member may not use offensive words against the Assembly or any member thereof or against any member of the judiciary. I would caution you, Mr Osborne.
MR OSBORNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am very aware of that standing order. I do not think I have offended, and I do not intend to. What I would like to hear from Magistrate Nicholl is some clarification or, at the very least, an apology to the vast majority of AFP officers, who I feel have been tainted by this slur against them. I draw this to the Assembly's attention not because of this individual case but rather because of what I think is an unfair slur on the part of Magistrate Nicholl. My opinion of magistrates was not tainted because of a couple of rotten eggs back in the 1980s. What is the point of police going to court and giving evidence if some magistrates will not believe them? I would like to think that Mr Humphries will write to Mr Cahill and perhaps express some concern about this issue. I am very aware of the doctrine of the separation of powers, Mr Speaker; but I feel, on behalf of all the honest, hardworking police here in Canberra and also their families, that this issue cannot go unanswered.
MR BERRY (7.33): I would like to draw attention to a letter that I have received from a constituent in Florey. The constituent has corresponded with the Chief Minister and draws attention to how general urban services like street cleaning have deteriorated under this Government. He draws attention to the risk of road accidents as a result of poor maintenance, draws attention to the damaged condition of roadside signs and describes many policies as irresponsible. He goes on to describe the lack of balance in the Government's allocation of finances. He says: