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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 May 1995) . . Page.. 529 ..


Ms Follett: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. If I heard Mr Hird correctly, whilst his own side was interjecting he said that I had been caught with my hand in the drawer. To my ears, that is an implication of impropriety that must be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hird, first of all, you are not making an explanation of the sort provided for under standing order 46. Nevertheless, the implication you have directed at the Leader of the Opposition, to which she has objected, should be withdrawn. Would you please do so.

MR HIRD: I will do so, if she finds it offensive.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. You may now continue with your personal explanation.

MR HIRD: I find it most offensive when the Leader of the Opposition casts doubts on my ability of four years in the honourable position of Speaker of the House of Assembly. I find it unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition does not understand what motions are. I suggest that she learn the art of debating.

MR MOORE (11.41): Mr Speaker, I think that Ms McRae's speech really touched on the issue extremely well. She said that it is very much the perception of leadership that is in question here and that it is very much the responsibility of the Chief Minister to set the standards for her Government and to act accordingly. By and large, I find that argument particularly convincing, Mr Speaker. I believe it appropriate to allow the Chief Minister to do just that.

It is interesting that this motion should be put forward by Ms Tucker. I ask her to account for why it is that she has brought this motion up now, when the code of conduct for Ministers was tabled in the Assembly and debated on 2 May and the speakers to that code of conduct were Ms Follett, Mr Humphries, Mr Kaine, Mrs Carnell and I. There was not any contribution by the Greens. Certainly, there was the suggestion earlier that this was just opportunistic on their part, now that they realise that there is some media attention. I think it is incumbent upon Ms Tucker to explain why it is that they have moved this motion now rather than dealing with it earlier.

Mr Speaker, I am conscious of certain skeletons in other people’s cupboards as far as these sorts of issues go. I wonder at some of the things that I hear from the Opposition benches. I wonder at how Labor can go on the way they did when it is such a short while ago, granted in a different parliament, that Ros Kelly for months tried her hardest to tough it out, until finally on a much more serious matter she stood down. It is interesting, Mr Speaker. Perhaps this Minister could take note of the actions of Ian McLachlan, who on the Hindmarsh Island affair very rapidly stood up and said, “I am going to stand down because I think that is the right thing to do”. It is interesting that that has not happened in this situation; but, by and large, it is the responsibility of this Government to decide how they are going to operate. I believe that it is the responsibility of the public in general to make a decision about the way they consider this Government operates. They will be able to do that most effectively in three years’ time. But, of course, they also have other techniques available to them, through processes and approaches that are quite public, to call, for example, for a Minister's resignation.


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