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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 May 1995) . . Page.. 528 ..


They are the words of the Leader of the Opposition when she was Chief Minister. In my opinion, there is no question that they are pre-empting the inquiry. Wait until the umpire brings in a decision. Wait until that decision is made. It is quite right and appropriate that the Chief Minister has not moved to interfere with the Human Rights Office. It is an independent body. But the way you put it across, Leader of the Opposition, would indicate that you would interfere with that independent body. I do not think that that is good government. That is probably why you are sitting on the Opposition bench right now.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition): I seek leave to make a personal explanation, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Leave is granted.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, it is apparent to about 16 members of the Assembly, but obviously not to Mr Hird, that we are not dealing with a motion of no confidence - far from it. Such a motion has been considered and found inappropriate by members of the Opposition. The reason why we found it inappropriate was quite simply that it would have been pre-empting the outcome of the deliberations of the Human Rights Office.

Mr Humphries: The principle is the same, is it not?

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, the principle is completely different. A motion of no confidence by the Assembly indicates that a Minister is considered by the members moving it and supporting it to be no longer fit to hold office. No such motion has been moved in this place in relation to the sexual harassment allegations; nor will it be, Mr Speaker. The motion that is before us, moved by our colleagues the Greens, not by the Opposition - Mr Speaker, I will read it out for Mr Hird's guidance - urges the Chief Minister to stand her Deputy Chief Minister aside. It is not a motion of no confidence, nor is it a censure motion. I would have expected that Mr Hird, with some previous experience as a Speaker - he was not a very good one, but he has that experience - would have known the difference. I think it is a very sad statement that he has made. He apparently cannot appreciate the issue. A motion of no confidence would have prejudged the matter. Urging the Chief Minister to behave like a leader in no way does.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, under standing orders I want to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Under standing order 46, you may proceed.

MR HIRD: I find the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition typical, because she and her colleagues have been caught with their hands in the drawer, in the cash - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! You may make a personal explanation, Mr Hird. You may not debate the issue.

MR HIRD: In accordance with standing order 46, Mr Speaker. I would say that the remarks made by - - -


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