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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1001..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Did you write to or otherwise advise Mr Stanhope about your intentions before Monday? Do you consider that your media statement of 22 January 2002 and your statement in this place as Speaker on 19 February 2002 should have given Mr Stanhope a strong indication that you had an ongoing interest in this matter?

MR SPEAKER: I do not have an array of papers before me to check all the dates and comments you raise in your question. But it is a matter that has been around since before last Christmas. There has been some dialogue between me and the Chief Minister, and there has been some correspondence. I saw the report in the Canberra Times. I do not know on what basis that comment was made, but I do know that there has been some consultation with the Clerk and/or the law office.

I think it is fair to say there has been an understanding of the position of the Speaker in relation to this matter from the beginning. The claim that the papers might have been received late is a reasonable claim, but there has been an understanding of the issues for a long time.

I am happy to review all the pieces of correspondence and the matters to which you refer and report further to you on the matter if it will be of assistance to you. I will do that if you wish. Absent all the papers you have referred to, it is a bit difficult for me to comment in detail.

MR SMYTH: If you are going to take the question on notice, that is kind. Could you then please explain to the chamber how your position diverges from Mr Stanhope's and what led you to your decision to become a friend of the court?

MR SPEAKER: Would you repeat that, please?

MR SMYTH: Could you please explain to the chamber your position and how it diverges from Mr Stanhope's position on the matter and that led you to become a friend of the court?

MR SPEAKER: I do not think there is any difference between our positions. Mr Stanhope can speak for himself. I know from my conversations with him that he is also concerned about the privilege of the Assembly. That is the reason I have taken it on. In all the reports I have made to this place I point to that as an issue-my concern about the privileges which exist in this place. For you to say that there is a difference between me and Mr Stanhope is a bit of an exaggeration.

Home warranty insurance market

MS MacDONALD: Can the Minister for Planning tell the Assembly what action the government has taken in response to the withdrawal of Dexta from the home warranty insurance market?

MR CORBELL: Members may be aware that the insurer Dexta has withdrawn from the home warranty insurance market. My office was advised yesterday that the MBA was no longer able to provide home owner warranty insurance through its agent Dexta for the


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