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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3267 ..

all agreed is an important issue for us—state rights and progressing that—descending to further political smear, opportunism and point-scoring. We have plenty of opportunity for that, members.

Ms Cheyne: Then what is this? What is this?

MR HANSON: If we want to play those games we have plenty of opportunity. Ms Cheyne says, “What is this?” If there is an allegation and evidence and, in this case, statements from senators stating that there has been a mislead, it falls to us to deal with it. I am sure Madam Speaker would agree that you cannot simply ignore it. You cannot simply pretend that it did not happen. When you become aware of a mislead, you come into this place and you withdraw. That is what I am asking for.

The subsequent actions are only there because we wrote to the federal parliament. Madam Speaker, on our behalf, wrote to the federal parliament. We need to manage that end of it in a reasonable way. This is a reasonable motion. It is a reasonable remedy for something that has happened. Hopefully, we can then put this matter behind us and, when it comes to the substantive issue of state rights, progress that issue in a tripartisan way, to the benefit of the residents of the ACT.

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.48): I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Mr Hanson’s motion. I will start by underlining that Mr Hanson did not accurately reflect the entire debate from 8 October by quoting Ms Lee about the timing of only some things.

Ms Lee referred to the date of the letter that we received from Minister Cash as being 1 October. However, I went on to make clear that we had received the letter “that week”. That week was the week beginning 4 October, which was a public holiday, so we did not receive it until 5 October, to my understanding. The motion referenced the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs report, which was not handed down until the Wednesday afternoon, which, members will recall, was budget day. Bringing this on as an executive motion on the Friday was appropriate, as the timing worked out.

The opposition again doubled down on having no notice of a motion that was on the notice paper the night before. It was embarrassing then, and it is embarrassing now. Read the notice paper; it comes out the night before. Yesterday Mr Hanson was going on about how he has been in this place for 13 years, and he is the whip. If he did not draw this to the Leader of the Opposition’s attention, and if no staff and no members are actually reading the notice paper the night before, that is a matter for the Canberra Liberals. Stop going on about having no notice. You had plenty of notice. You could have interacted with the motion, and you chose not to.

Madam Speaker, we will not be supporting the motion that Mr Hanson has brought on today. That is because there is no false or misleading assertion. This is about semantics. It is a red herring from Senator Seselja and Mr Hanson to distract from the main issue at hand.

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