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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 684 ..


Mrs Jones: We did not suggest it at all. He did.

MR STEEL: He did not. This is the approach that we see from those opposite, particularly the Leader of the Opposition, coming in here with no-confidence motions and censure motions with no evidence at all. Meanwhile, our government is supporting greater concessions for older Canberrans and investing in an age-friendly city. It is entirely unremarkable that at the same time we are engaging with older Canberrans we are doing the same with younger Canberrans.

I support the Chief Minister’s apology today. I think that this censure motion demonstrates the constant overreach from those opposite when it comes to motions in this place.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.15): Wow, it has been remarkable, hasn’t it? It has been remarkable from the moment it actually got into the media, but I think it has become even more remarkable today.

I rise to speak in support of this censure motion against the Chief Minister. I speak as a former journalist, Madam Speaker. I speak as one who first appeared in print as a newspaper journalist in 1979 at the age of 13. Like most journalists, I know that I was drawn to the space because I wanted to share as much information as I possibly could with as many people as I possibly could. To me, that is the essence of journalism. Journalism is not a glamorous line of work. For the most part, it does not pay well. The hours are often odd and unstructured. But most journalists that I know are so enamoured of their job that they do not complain much about the extra hours they do, often unpaid, as they try with all their might to sift through all of the information and to present the truth.

I have mentored dozens and dozens of people in the broadcast industry. There are a number of them who I have strongly advised not to pursue journalism. I have said, “No, don’t go down that path.” Why? Because it is such a hard slog, because the pay is pretty ordinary, and because you do not get much thanks. But you certainly would not expect that you would be getting the Chief Minister of the territory coming out and declaring that he hated you.

I take my hat off to the journalists of this city, because I know what they do and I know how they do it. The Canberra Liberals appreciate the work that journalists are doing. That includes the moments when the press is critical of us. It is about enabling the public with knowledge, shining a light on things that would have remained in the dark had they not pointed the torch in that direction. The truth, it must be said, Madam Speaker, is not kind to everyone. There are always those whose lives would be much more comfortable if the truth was never revealed. But the public of Canberra have a right to know the truth, and in many instances that would not occur without hardworking journalists.

How dare the Chief Minister make such an all-encompassing statement about an entire profession simply because they dared to do their job! I cannot believe the hypocrisy from this man who lives by the mantra of inclusion. He does not judge


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