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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3950..


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

MR SPEAKER: The question related to the affairs for which Mr Hargreaves has responsibility; multicultural affairs is one of them. But I think you should come back to the original question, Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: It is one example. It was one of the examples amongst many that Mr Stefaniak raised as an issue of failure. Isn't that total lack of self-awareness or self-understanding interesting? A member of the Liberal Party of Australia today dares to stand and condemn a member of the Labor Party in relation to issues around multicultural affairs and an inclusive society, when in the last weeks that party has distributed race hate electoral pamphlets—racial vilification of the worst order—against a marginalised community: the Muslim communities in Australia. It is mind-boggling that Mr Stefaniak is not aware—does not have the self-awareness to understand—just how outrageous that claim is.

Another one of the allegations of failure: the GDE. The GDE, but for the interference of the Liberal Party, would almost certainly have been completed by now. The interference, the obstructionism, the refusal to allow the GDE to proceed, the refusal to allow this government, for well over a year, to advance the planning and arrange for the construction of the GDE, is down to you.

Mr Pratt: You remind me of Pol Pot: you blame everybody else except yourself. You blame everybody else except yourself.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I ask you to get Mr Pratt to withdraw the reference to the Chief Minister as Pol Pot. Get him to withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: Did you make that reference Mr Pratt?

Mr Pratt: It was a comparison of ministerial performance; it was not a reflection on his character.

MR SPEAKER: Did you draw comparisons between Pol Pot and the Chief Minister?

Mr Pratt: In terms of laying blame, yes I did.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw it.

Mr Pratt: I withdraw it.

MR STANHOPE: It is consistent—to the extent that we have seen the Liberal Party's form in relation to issues around racial vilification and racial hatred, and their willingness and their preparedness to use the Muslim people of Australia for crass political purposes, to scapegoat them, to push them to the edge—to push them over the edge if they can—because they believe them to be to their political enemies. (Time expired.)


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