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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3202..


MR SPEAKER: No, it is the issue.

Mr Hargreaves: No, it was about me personally.

MR SPEAKER: If it was about you personally-

Mr Hargreaves: It was. He said, "You, Mr Hargreaves, have a conflict of interest." I want that withdrawn. It was not about a group. It was about me personally.

MR SPEAKER: If it was a personal address, I would suggest that we do withdraw. We have a great deal of work to do. Do I have to repeat this again? Whilst this may be interesting to members here, I am not 100 per cent sure that our constituents are all that impressed by this mud-slinging. Please!

Mr Berry: Stop it, Gary. You heard the Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: It has happened on both sides.

MR HUMPHRIES: The fact of the matter is that the claim that 40 to 50 jobs will be lost by virtue of the passing of this legislation is untrue. We know that from the figures produced by the commission-

Mr Hargreaves: I will continue, Mr Speaker. On a point of order, I asked you to rule on this conflict, and I will continue to do it until the withdrawal comes.

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, would you mind withdrawing any implication against Mr Hargreaves, please. I am tired of this.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order. Gary, don't do it, don't do it. Mr Speaker, the self-government act gives us a way to deal with a matter of conflict of interest. Section 15 of the self-government act states:

A question concerning the application of subsection (1) shall be decided by the Assembly, and a contravention of that subsection does not invalidate anything done by the Assembly.

Mr Speaker, the way to resolve it, if you want to, is to put the question to the Assembly. Mr Humphries has raised the issue of conflict of interest. I agree. I think the method of dealing with it would be to put it to a vote.

Mr Hargreaves: Then we will be here all night.

MR SPEAKER: No, we will not. We are rising at 7 o'clock, and this will continue tomorrow. In the interests of comity, it may be better if we get on with the debate. It would be better if any comment or allegation of conflict of interest were dealt with by a motion on the matter. It is entirely up to the Assembly. Mr Humphries has the call.


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