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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2067..


MR HUMPHRIES: We did not need to. We want the member making the allegations to have unlimited time, but I am not sure whether every other member needs unlimited time as well. But, if you want to make them one at a time, that is fine by us. We will take the rest of the day on the subject if you want to. Mr Speaker, members opposite, Mr Berry particularly, made the suggestion that this was a sleazy move. I remind him that there is a precedent for this. It was in 1989. It was at the instigation of Mr Paul Whalan, who did precisely the same thing in respect of allegations made against him by the then Leader of the Residents Rally, Mr Bernard Collaery. No notice was given of that move. We are following precisely that precedent, Labor's precedent.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Statements by Members

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (10.49): I am only too pleased to be able to put on the record the reasons why I believe that the tender process and the subsequent auction for new taxi licence plates in the ACT represent a very serious breach of what I believe are the appropriate standards of behaviour and ethics for all members of this Assembly. It is that breach of ethical behaviour that, I think, goes to the heart of this problem. What we have seen here, Mr Speaker, is a member of the Government taking advantage or receiving an advantage from a tender process which was instituted by the Government and which was subject to a decision by the Government. The fact of the matter is that Mr Hird, in the matter of government auctions, does have a conflict of interest. His company, or the company of which he is the major beneficiary, ought not to be winning contracts from this Government. There is a clear appearance of a conflict of interest.

Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that Mr Harold Hird, MLA, does have an auctioneers licence - he is a licensed auctioneer - and that his trading name is Harold Hird and Associates. That is a fact. That fact can be checked in the annual report of the Chief Minister's Department. Mr Speaker, that fact - - -

Members interjected.

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order. I think the Government ought to have the graciousness to listen. They have insisted that the Leader of the Opposition speak on this matter. Would they please remain quiet while she does it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I uphold the point of order. I remind all members that such a courtesy should extend to all other members when they are speaking. That includes you, Mr Berry. Proceed, Ms Follett.


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