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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (16 October) . . Page.. 2984..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

The government also recommends the development of more strategies. I think that is the third recommendation about developing strategies and is the one that comes completely out of left field—again topical, but I do not see how it complies with and fits in with the terms of reference. In fact, this is already happening at a commonwealth level. I suspect that Mr Gentleman thought, "Gosh, I've got to put something in, and mortgages are a problem. I suppose I should say something about mortgages."They do not relate in any way to the terms of reference or the legislation that he is supposed to be reviewing.

Then we have another community awareness thing. We have strategies; we have monitoring; we have reviewing; we have collecting information. We have more strategies and a targeted community awareness program. There are a couple of laudable recommendations in relation to youth and people with disabilities and a few jobs for the comrades.

This is the result of two years and some months work by Mr Gentlemen. Actually, you could not call it work. It is filthy work but somebody has to do it. Obviously Mr Gentleman stepped up to the plate and said, "Chief Minister, I will take one for the team. Just make sure I get well remunerated for it."What this has been about, and I will say it again, is Mr Gentleman's boondoggle. It is a very, very prosperous and well remunerated boondoggle but it does not do anything—

Mr Stanhope: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: in that allegation, that accusation, there is a suggestion that I think is unparliamentary, that impugns Mr Gentleman's integrity. The suggestion is being made quite baldly and bluntly by Mrs Dunne that Mr Gentleman was motivated by a desire simply to be remunerated in his role as a member of this Assembly, this parliament. I think it is a scandalous accusation. It is a scandalous suggestion and Mrs Dunne should be ashamed of herself.

Each and every one of us can stand in this place and pick apart any report that is produced under the stewardship of anyone else. We can make that same allegation. There are reports in this place in relation to which, from time to time, any of us, if we chose, could stand for this sort of shallow political purpose that Mrs Dunne has sought to pursue here—to impugn the motivation and the reason.

The suggestion being made today, in that comment just now, is that Mr Gentleman was motivated by nothing other than a desire to be paid to chair a committee. That is a scandalous allegation. It impugns his integrity. It impugns his reputation. It demeans the Liberal Party and Mrs Dunne. It should be withdrawn.

Mr Gentleman: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: can I just point out as well that it was the Assembly that formed the committee; my chairmanship role was a result of being elected from the committee that was formed. It is important that I point that out.

MR SPEAKER: I think you should withdraw the word "boondoggle".

MRS DUNNE: "Boondoggle"?


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