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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3036..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I regret that the appalling heartbreaking tragedy that we are all witness to in the death of a young woman in a tragic accident is seen, by the Leader of the Opposition, as a fit subject to seek to score a political point off me in relation to the bushfire coronial inquest. That is tawdry politics of the lowest order.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Under standing order 118 (b), he cannot debate the subject; he has to answer the question.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, he is responding to the question you asked him.

MR STANHOPE: I do. The point needs to be made that the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the alternative government, who would use the tragedy of the death of a young woman to seek to score a political point off me in relation to the bushfire inquest, is plumbing the depths of tawdry, appalling politics. He deserves-and the Liberal opposition deserves-to be treated with absolute contempt for seeking to drag into a political attack on me in relation to the bushfire inquest, the tragic, heartbreaking death of a young Canberra woman. I am appalled.

Judicial independence

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Attorney-General. Why have you allowed the administration of justice in the ACT to reach a state where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court felt compelled last Friday to warn "that the importance of the doctrine of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary are under threat"?

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. There is a motion on the notice paper for tomorrow in relation to this matter. I believe that the question is out of order.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, speaking to the point of order, there is nothing on the notice paper as yet. Notice has been given but it is not on the notice paper.

MR SPEAKER: It is not on the notice paper; that is correct.

MR STANHOPE: I didn't, Mr Speaker.

MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question. Attorney, what actions, if any, do you propose to take to alleviate the Chief Justice's fears?

MR STANHOPE: I have written to the Chief Justice and offered to discuss these issues with him on the basis of further explanation by him of his concerns.

Sister cities

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, Canberra has sister city relationship with both Nara in Japan and Dili in East Timor. Can you please outline to the Assembly any recent initiatives under these relationships and the benefits to both Canberra and the communities in Nara and Dili?


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