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You must come up with a better defence and, for Independent members, a better argument as to why, as you seem to be suggesting, they should not preserve the status quo. We are not suggesting a higher standard of ministerial conduct. We are saying that you should follow the standard practice throughout Australia.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.18): Mr Speaker, I think what we have here in this debate is a very sad time for this Assembly. What we have seen over the last few weeks I have found personally distressing. Forget the situation with Mr De Domenico. Ms Follett stood up before and said that it was basically with a heavy heart that she spoke today. But what we have seen around this Assembly - - -

Ms Follett: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I said absolutely no such thing.

MRS CARNELL: Ms Follett indicated that she was distressed by having to bring these sorts of matters forward.

Ms Follett: I did not.

MRS CARNELL: Or she liked bringing them forward.

Ms Follett: On a point of order, Mr Speaker - - -

MRS CARNELL: All right. Ms Follett was very happy to bring this matter forward.

Ms Follett: Mrs Carnell was not present in the chamber. I made no such statement.

MRS CARNELL: I was present when you spoke. I was present the whole time that Ms Follett spoke. We have seen in the Assembly and around the Assembly over the last couple of weeks a level of personal attack that I have never seen before. I have actually been quite proud that this Assembly has not in the past gone to the depths that we have seen recently. Ms Follett's staff has been ringing members of the media on almost a daily basis, making fairly unfortunate comments about various people and basically muckraking.

That is a situation that we simply have not become involved with. When we were in opposition and information came into our hands about similar types of complaints against press secretaries of then Ministers, what did we do? We did nothing, because to have done anything would have been unacceptable. We are not going to debate the allegations against police officers, because to do so would be unacceptable. Mr Connolly is very happy to do it. When there were allegations against an ex-Labor member, what did we do? We did nothing, because to have done anything would have been unacceptable. There are processes that we must allow to be followed in this area. The way not to do it, if we are to get on with the business of managing and governing this Territory, is to allow these sorts of personal innuendos and this muckraking to upset us and take our minds off the important issues in managing the Territory.

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