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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 186..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

evening, and the persons in whose company I spent the evening have had a single purpose. It is absolutely and utterly despicable-utterly despicable. Of course, then it was followed up by Mr Smyth and his freedom of information requests-that he has requisitioned: his demand for tabled documents-in relation to my wife's private life and business.

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order, again under standing order 118A.

MR SPEAKER: I think the question was "why haven't you told us up until now?"I think the Chief Minister is trying to tell you.

MR STANHOPE: To the point where I have to say this. I am loath to involve my wife in this; she will be appalled, and perhaps disappointed, that I have breached her privacy in relation to this. But since Mr Smyth conducted his campaign against my wife and her travel, my wife refuses to travel with me. She is not prepared to have her private life and her private affairs submitted to the political point scoring and nastiness of Brendan Smyth. My wife will no longer travel with me because of Mr Smyth's requisitioning of her personal travel documents, her personal affairs and her expenditures when she travels on official business with me. That is what Mr Smyth has done. I apologise to my wife for breaching her privacy in this way. It is appalling. I am absolutely appalled that this paragon of virtue-this citizen of Tuggeranong, this pillar of society-thinks that that is appropriate behaviour. It is not.

On the night before the fire, I was with my wife, with a magistrate of the ACT Magistrates Court and with a Catholic priest.

Mr Stefaniak: Why didn't you tell us before now?

MR STANHOPE: Because it is none of your business-because it is none of your business. It is none of your business what I was doing.

Mr Stefaniak: No-one is going to blame you for being with your wife, for goodness sake.

MR STANHOPE: I explained at the time. I said, "I was in my electorate at dinner."

Mrs Burke: You did not.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I did.

Ms Gallagher: Yes, on the north side of Canberra.

MR STANHOPE: My colleagues remember. I was in my electorate on the north side of Canberra at dinner. But that was not sufficient! That was not sufficient! It just excited the dirty mind of Mr Smyth. That just excited the dirty mind, because I would not say I was at dinner with my wife-because it was none of your business. It was not relevant that I involve my wife in this place. Oh, no-a four-year campaign of innuendo, scuttlebutt, doublespeak and plain gossip. Of course it all gets repeated back to me. It is a small town. It is a small place, this. It all gets reported back to me-everything that Mr Smyth says as he goes around town: the destruction of my

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