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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (2 March) . . Page.. 473..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I will conclude by referring to the framework of the speech. The speech was framed around those enduring Australian values, the values that we hold dear, the values that I hold dear as an incredibly proud Australian, somebody that loves this place to death. Because I love it to the extent that I do, I am prepared to stand up for those values that are important, I am prepared to stand up for those values that I believe it appropriate that we protect, and that requires from time to time taking a stand on issues such as the illegal and the unjustified.

Isn't it interesting, Mr Speaker, to have the revelations of the last day or two about what Mr Howard did or did not know about weapons of mass destruction? Isn't it interesting that we now discover that the Prime Minister relied on dodgy intelligence advice or the absence of intelligence advice, the fact that the Prime Minister took us off to war, killed 35,000 people in the process, blood over Iraq in our name-

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I refer you to standing order 118 (a), which provides that answers shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question, which was whether the Chief Minister has learnt that citizenship ceremonies are not to be ego trips. I do not think that it had anything to do with weapons of mass destruction.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, the standing orders enable a minister to respond to a question for five minutes. Your side did ask the question and I think that the Chief Minister is entitled to refer to his speech and the contents of it.

MR STANHOPE: I think that, in that context, the issues I raised were relevant. We know that it is embarrassing to the Liberal Party. We know that it is embarrassing to the Liberal Party that they cannot achieve reconciliation, that they are not interested in it, that they will not acknowledge prior occupation, that their leader will not say sorry, that their leader is holding back reconciliation. We know that the Liberal Party are embarrassed at the fact that they lock up children in detention camps, behind razor wire in the middle of a desert. We know that it embarrasses them. We know that they do not want to talk about it. They should be embarrassed. They should be embarrassed at the fact that they have completely connived in the abrogation of the rule of law in the detention of Australians-

Mr Smyth: I take a point of order. Under standing order 118 (b) the minister is not entitled to debate the subject. He actually has to answer the question and the question was about whether he has learnt. It was not about the federal government. It was not about anybody else. It was about him. I am yet to hear him say whether he has learnt or not. Perhaps he should be confined to the subject matter of the question.

MR SPEAKER: I think that the Chief Minister is staying with the subject matter. The subject matter was his speech. You raised the question.

Mr Smyth: No, the supplementary question was about whether he had learnt something.

MR SPEAKER: You pointed a political question at the Chief Minister and I think that you have invited a political answer.


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