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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 October 2005) . . Page.. 3730 ..

clear that experts in this country think just that. While this internal threat is, by and large, absent in Canberra—the problem tends to be concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne—Canberra is considered to be a transit point—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I ask you to withdraw the “c” word.

MR PRATT: The “c” word?

MR SPEAKER: “Crap”. It is unparliamentary.

MR PRATT: I withdraw it, Mr Speaker. Canberra is considered to be a transit point for radicals and does contain high-value targets that al-Qaeda and their associates might dearly love to strike. You would think that the current terrorism environment should be enough to focus the Chief Minister’s mind, at least for a part of his duties, a part of his core responsibilities. Instead, we have seen Mr Stanhope agonising, at the expense of every other consideration, over the civil liberties aspects of a tightened anti-terrorism legal and administrative landscape; thus, he argues his justification for the leaking of sensitive draft legislation.

There has been very little consideration demonstrated for the vast majority of ACT citizens and their safety. Mr Stanhope has continually defaulted to where he feels most comfortable—defending the civil liberties of minority groups. Individual rights are very important, but they must run second to the ACT community’s safety and security. The major concern that we in the opposition have, a concern shared by experts in the ACT, is that Mr Stanhope is not to be trusted with state secrets and the various matters around community safety and security. That is because, as I outlined earlier, he will continually default to the civil liberties perspective. This goes to the heart of his blurred judgment and failure to carry out core responsibilities.

Mr Speaker, simply examine Hansard and simply examine Jon Stanhope’s track record of public speeches in the last three years, where he has politicised multicultural events and activities to push his anti-Australian national interest, anti-US and radical libertarian political positions. The Chief Minister has demonstrated hypocrisy in his willingness to breach security and expose the Prime Minister’s legislation while at the same time refusing to be transparent about his government’s dealings. Mr Stanhope exposes the Prime Minister but he suppresses Coroner Doogan’s professional responsibility to examine his government’s secret dealings and failings during the 2003 bushfires.

Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister’s two backflips have made this government a laughing stock across this country. The Chief Minister’s unprofessional behaviour has made this government a laughing stock across this country. The Chief Minister is not to be trusted, as he cannot take these responsibilities seriously. The Chief Minister, in betraying COAG responsibility, breaching federal security and basically doing a backflip because of his default civil liberties position, has failed and continues to fail the great majority of citizens of the ACT. More specifically, he has failed ACT police, our emergency services workers and our emergency management officers, who are ropeable about the Chief Minister’s insincere and erratic management of the terrorist threat to the ACT. This has been nothing but a political stunt.

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