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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2132..


MR BERRY: Thank you. I have no particular gripe with Mr Thurston. All I have said in relation to the letter that was introduced by the Government - - -

Mr Humphries: You implied that he lied.

MR BERRY: No, no, I never said that.

Mr Humphries: You implied that he lied.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries says I have lied.

Mr Hargreaves: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The members opposite have been pontificating all afternoon, seeking your intervention to stop these interjections. I would seek your assistance, please. The sooner they shut up and listen to Mr Berry the sooner we can all get out of here.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I uphold the point of order.

MR BERRY: There is nothing new in public servants defending their Ministers when their Ministers are in trouble, and Mr Thurston is wrong.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. He is yet again implying that a public servant lies to defend his Minister. He is implying that he lies. This is the very issue that was just drawn to his attention, and he has been warned about it.

MR SPEAKER: The house will come to order. Stop acting like a bunch of children. Sit down, Mr Corbell. Mr Berry, I suggest that you get on with your comments and stop straying into questions about public servants. I am sure you have more of substance to say about the issue.

MR BERRY: I am sure. If I really wanted to put a burr under Mr Moore's saddle I would talk about tobacco and his involvement with the Australian Hotels Association. We would really get him leaping up and down. But I will not do that, Mr Speaker, because - - -

Mr Humphries: Let us talk about VITAB, shall we?

MR BERRY: I would love to. Thank you. Now that you have opened the issue, I would be quite happy to talk about it and about the several million dollars of taxpayers' money that you frittered away, but there is no point in doing that. This is about a misleading of the house by a Minister; a deliberate or reckless misleading of this house by a Minister who will not stand up and admit to his mistakes and apologise. This is a Minister who will not rise and say, "I misled you and I am sorry".


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