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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 2441..


MR MULCAHY: I have been here for two years. I have said since the very beginning that it is a stupid thing to be involved with. I am pleased to see at long last that, like the GFS change, like getting rid of Rhodium, a number of these suggestions are being taken on board. I suppose I should be flattered, except that there is rarely any acknowledgment that it has come from this side of the house.

We are getting the message through slowly. The ideas are captured, rebadged and announced as government policy. Then we go back into the history books and say, "Oh, but the Liberals in 1990-something did not do any of this. This is Jon Stanhope's idea."The fact is that the people of the ACT are discerning enough to know just how authentic these original ideas are. I think they must pour through the comments in Hansard and say, "Gee, there is one we can grab that will make us look a little bit better."I would like to request the extra 10 minutes, although it is 12.30 pm.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hours.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Legislative Assembly—conduct of ministers

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, when you readmitted Mr Hargreaves to the ministry you warned him, "There will be no further chances."Yet I note that the estimates committee was forced by his behaviour to make the following recommendation:

That the Committee Chair in future hearings, issue a reminder at the commencement of Estimates hearings that the use by Ministers of inappropriate language, insults and other time wasting techniques employed in an attempt to deflect scrutiny and avoid questioning is unacceptable.

Your code of conduct states as follows:

Ministers will act with respect towards the institution of the Legislative Assembly and are to ensure that their conduct, whether in a personal or official capacity, does not bring the Assembly into disrepute, or damage public confidence in the system of government.

What disciplinary action have you taken against Mr Hargreaves for his use of inappropriate language, insults and other time wasting techniques in the estimates committee in an attempt to deflect scrutiny and avoid questioning?

MR STANHOPE: The obvious point needs to be made in relation to the question from Mr Stefaniak—a recently chagrined offender of the law, a person who went in the most humbling way to the police station to pay, rather reluctantly, I might say, a fine for his recent breach of the law—and in the context of a question around the behaviour of a member of this side of the house, it really is a quite startling hypocrisy for Mr Stefaniak, Mr Law and Order, a recent offender himself, to be the first to stand and cast a stone. I say that by way of a preamble. For those among you who will cast the first stone:


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