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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 776..

Personal explanations

MR SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope has a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition): Thank you, Mr Speaker. In answer to a question in question time today, the minister gilded the lily to the extent of not telling the truth. I would normally say that he actually lied and, in lying, defamed me quite seriously.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, it is inappropriate to use standing order 46 to make attacks.

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 46 allows you to make a personal explanation, not to accuse ministers or anybody else for that matter of lying. Whether you call them untruths or not, it is unparliamentary to do so. Withdraw that, please, and then get on with your personal explanation.

MR STANHOPE: I withdraw that. In answer to a question today, the Chief Minister alleged that I had made an undertaking which I did not make. I believe that to be a lie.

Mr Humphries: You did not ask me a question today.

MR STANHOPE: The Attorney-General. I will start again. In answer to a question today, the Attorney-General made a statement in which he alleged that I had made and undertaken a commitment, a commitment and undertaking that I did not make. I therefore believe that what the Attorney-General said was a lie and a quite serious defamation of me. That is what I believe.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, to call it a lie is still unparliamentary. Mr Stanhope has just been warned.

MR SPEAKER: That is correct; it still is.

MR STANHOPE: This is a personal explanation. What am I meant to say?

Mr Hird: That it is an untruth.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, thank you, Mr Hird; I will handle it. You said, to begin with, that the minister had alleged certain things. You did not have to add the words that it was a lie. You were making perfectly clear that something was wrong.

MR STANHOPE: All right. How do I explain, then, in my personal explanation that the Chief Minister-that the Attorney-General, I beg your pardon, Chief Minister; it is obviously your previous part as Attorney-General, a portfolio which I am very rapidly regretting that you gave up-

Mr Humphries: You never said that when I was Attorney-General, did you?

MR STANHOPE: No, that is right. How quickly our opinions change.

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