Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 1284..
everyone but them. The comments made by Mr Hanson and Mr Seselja were not similar to what anyone else had said. What hypocrisy in trying to tie this to free speech. We make all sorts of comments about issues. Mr Hanson said that it was ridiculous to think we could influence the case, but we have seen situations in other states in the country where comments made by members of parliament have had an impact on cases. That is why we have the standing order. That is why Mrs Dunne made the point she did in her speech—that when comments are made, people need to be drawn to account. No other member in speaking on this matter has made comments about the guilt or otherwise of these people.
Speaking briefly to Mr Hanson's amendment, the Greens will not be supporting it. Ms Gallagher—again, this is a point I have just made—made no comments about the guilt of the individuals. She made no comment on whether what they did was violent or on the impact that it had on scientists. These are all things which both Mr Seselja—
Opposition members interjecting—
MS BRESNAN: I am glad they think it is a joke. We see them laughing there; this is very funny. It is okay for them to make these sorts of comments, but nobody else can do that. No-one else made comments about it and no-one else pilloried the individuals like they did. That is why we have the matter before the chamber today.
We did not hear anything about the substance of the matter from Mr Hanson. He went to having a go at the Speaker, obviously. I remind them that this was a matter which Mr Corbell—I know I have said this; I will repeat it so they can get it into their heads—asked the Speaker to review. He did that. He received advice from the Clerk and acted on that advice. That is what we see today. It would be nice to see the Canberra Liberals actually addressing the substance of the matter instead of grasping at straws and thinking that the standing orders apply to everyone except them.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.41): I think it is an indication of just how passionate the Greens are about this that they are passing a matter of grave concern. We know their standards in relation to the opposition for passing motions. I believe Mr Smyth was censured for the vibe of a press release—so they must feel very passionate. Perhaps that reticence is to do with the fact that not only have their political alliance partners been caught out on this but also there is what the Speaker himself said in this debate. It is worth quoting, just briefly, what Mr Rattenbury had to say in this place last week in relation to some of these matters:
In that statement I was critical of the activities that took place at Parkwood, because I do not condone violence, destruction or vandalism. I believe that what took place at Parkwood was counterproductive to the important issue at hand—the mistreatment of tens of thousands of chickens at that facility.
... Those who inflicted this damage at Parkwood undoubtedly lost support amongst the public, and they should know that. I believe the same applies to the Greenpeace action at the CSIRO. The strong adverse public reaction to that activity meant that Greenpeace's ability to win reform on that issue was quite arguably diminished.