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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 777..


MR SPEAKER: Get on with your personal explanation. otherwise I will have to sit you down.

MR STANHOPE: I am in difficulty here in making a personal explanation on a matter which is quite serious to me. In answer to a question today, the Attorney-General made the statement that I had made an undertaking-in other words, that I had given my word-to the Property Council in relation to a certain amendment. I did no such thing. To suggest that I did is a lie; it is a lie.

Mr Humphries: They are under the impression that you did give that as an undertaking.

MR STANHOPE: I did not give any such undertaking. The only undertaking I have ever given to the Property Council was that I would take every issue in the bill on its merits, something which I did. I was not, like the Attorney-General and your party, seduced by your millionaire property development mates.

MR SPEAKER: All right. That debate-

MR STANHOPE: I made no undertaking to the Property Council of any sort in relation to any amendment. The Attorney-General's suggestion today that I did is simply not true; it is a lie.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Sit down. Again, you were using the word "lie", and I ask you to withdraw it. You have made your point, Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: I have made my point, but there is a difficulty here. For a minister to stand up in answer to a question and to defame me by suggesting that I gave my word and then broke it and for me not to be able to suggest that he was lying really does create a problem.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, if I could make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, you may.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Stanhope, if I said that you gave an undertaking to the Property Council and you take offence, I am happy to withdraw that, because I would not know what you said to the Property Council as I was not there. Let me put that on the record. If you have taken offence because you thought I said that, I am happy to withdraw a statement that you gave an undertaking to the Property Council. How could I say that as I was not there?

What I did say, however, and I thought I made quite clear, was that there was an amendment on the table, an amendment which everyone would expect to be moved, a very important one, which, at the end of the day, you and your party did not move. I think people have to ask why.

I am happy to withdraw any implication that you made undertakings to the Property Council. As I said before, I was not there; I would not know. If you take offence at that, I take your point, Mr Stanhope; but the fact remains that there was that amendment there


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