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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 May 1995) . . Page.. 359 ..


Mr Berry: Things have changed, and we make the same comparisons.

Mr Wood: Yes, things have changed, haven't they?

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Wood. That is a slur on the Chair, and I will not stand for it.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Once again Mr Wood is addressing you from his chair. I quietly drew that to your attention on a previous occasion. I draw your attention to standing order 202(e). I believe that it is appropriate for that standing order to be used if any member continues to operate in such a way. It is entirely and completely inappropriate.

MR SPEAKER: There are two matters here. First of all, I would suggest that, if you wish to take a point of order, Mr Wood, you stand to do so. Secondly, your suggestion that there is some bias extended to the Government from the Chair is, in fact, a criticism of the Chair, and I would ask you to withdraw it.

Mr Wood: Mr Speaker, I certainly withdraw any suggestion that there is bias from the Chair. It is just that the Liberal Party has totally changed its tactics since moving to that side of the house.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Wood.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think it is incumbent on those opposite to ask themselves what their motivation is for dealing with this issue in such a silly way. There has been progress on this matter. As a result of my letter to Pam Allan on 27 April, we have had a lift in the performance of the New South Wales authorities. Indeed, on 28 April, the very next day, there was a burn-off in New South Wales. We were given advice of this matter, I think, before it started - certainly soon after it started, at least. I was able to issue a press release on 28 April at about half-past three, advising the people of the ACT that a burn-off was going on at Williamsdale and that we did have progress on this matter.

Mr Speaker, I table that press release. I also table my press release of the previous day; my letter to the Hon. Pam Allan, MP, Minister for the Environment, of 27 April; and her reply of 2 May 1995, which is more of a holding reply than anything else but which certainly indicates that she is now looking at the issue actively. I assume that we might see the New South Wales Opposition criticising her for not responding to this letter in the last few days as well, if they are taking lessons from this Opposition up here.

Mr Speaker, this really is a silly motion. I think it does make people wonder what we are all about. We talked before, particularly in the inaugural speeches the other day, about the problem of people holding this Assembly in low esteem. I would hate to think that the people in the gallery today would go away thinking that this is the sort of thing we spend our time debating in this place. I can assure them that we do debate things of more consequence than this and with more substance than this, and I hope that in future we will get on to a situation where we do exhibit a bit more responsibility.


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