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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 June 2006) . . Page.. 1755 ..

It is interesting to go to the views of the now Leader of the Opposition in relation to the standard that would be expected of a junior lands act officer in this place as a result of his association with the parliament and politicians within the parliament. The now Leader of the Opposition, in relation to that minor property transgression of the Crimes Act—this is Mr Stefaniak—said:

The community has rightly been angered by the refusal of the Chief Minister to sack the personal staffer …

The now Leader of the Opposition went on to say, “The Chief Minister needs to uphold the law.” Mr Stefaniak then went on to say:

There cannot be two laws, one for Stanhope favourites and another for the rest of the community. On the contrary, the public expect politicians and their staff to uphold the highest standards in all their dealings.

Mrs Dunne: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker. Could you rule on what area of responsibility the Chief Minister has that brings him to answer this question?

MR STANHOPE: The lands act.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, the minister responsible for the lands act.

Mrs Dunne: Thank you.

MR STANHOPE: It went to employers of people employed under the lands act. Those were the express views of Mr Stefaniak at the time, that the community was rightly angered that I refused to sack a junior adviser charged with a property offence. One might just ponder what the community would expect of a politician committing a crime that was life-threatening. One of the most dangerous things you can do when driving a car is to take telephone calls, putting the lives of other, innocent travellers at risk. We should sack junior, non-powerful staffers employed by politicians where they commit a property offence—

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order.

MR STANHOPE: but there is no need for a senior politician, a shadow Attorney-General, committing a life-threatening offence.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Chief Minister!

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I believe that the Chief Minister has impugned the reputation of a member by referring to him having committed a crime, not an offence. He is referring to the Leader of the Opposition as a criminal by that remark.

MR SPEAKER: I think he was referring to something which is described as a criminal offence.

MR STANHOPE: It is. The Leader of the Opposition committed a criminal offence, a life-threatening criminal offence. A member of staff in this place committed a property

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