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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1379 ..


we could all rail against it, everybody has rights. Speaking of rights, I do not often get an opportunity to make a comment about the coroner’s inquest and the appeal against it, but I do not understand the mentality that says that people who feel they have been railroaded by a coroner—whether they are justified or not—cannot appeal. Nine people went and got an opinion from an eminent jurist and—

MR SPEAKER: Be careful, Mr Quinlan.

MR QUINLAN: Sure. These are facts. I read it in the paper.

MR SPEAKER: That you may well have done, but—

MR QUINLAN: That appeal was accepted. Just stop me when I go too far, Mr Speaker. They took it to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said there is a case.

MR SPEAKER: That is enough, I think.

MR QUINLAN: It is a pity; I will have a lot more to say on that if I ever get a chance. I have to say in the general sense that, from where I sit, what has been said in this place, going back two years, in trying to make political capital out of that very tragic event has been one of the most tawdry episodes, at least in my time in this place. It gradually built up. It took six months to get going and then, bit by bit by bit, it was Mr Stanhope’s fault. What nonsense!

I thank members for their support for this bill, which appropriates $25 million. To his credit, Mr Pratt recognised that in his speech. It is not $75 million; that was already budgeted. There is $25 million worth of new money. I do not think anybody has really raised any objection of any merit whatsoever to the individual expenditures. Of course we have had to appropriate for public service wage increases, but they were public service wage increases that were already factored into the budget. It is just that they were not appropriated until they were decided. There is extra money for public sector wages, but it is not in the order of $75 million.

This bill includes expenditure for the asbestos task force—something that arose in the last weeks of the Assembly, and we know what role you guys played in that. We had this crazy bill that the minister had to virtually rewrite in a couple of days because you were going to support it by hook or by crook. It did not matter if it was rotten legislation; it did not matter that we had not thought it through—you were going to support it, and you did. It was a great job by that minister to tidy it up—but it costs money.

I am very concerned when I hear in this place Mrs Dunne trying to do some form of backflip on child protection, trying to build some other case. I do not know where you are going from there—I do not know what is the plan—but all of a sudden you are going to recant all of the statements that have been made across that side of the house about what the government ought to do, what ought to happen. All of a sudden you are going to try to qualify that. I have seen the twisting coming from the Liberal Party. I have seen the Humphries style that you were part of, and I await the next episode, as you change history and you change the basis because everything that we want to do is wrong.

Mr Smyth: Even Ted’s blushing at that story.


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