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He did not stand down as a Minister. You were still a Minister the whole way through that, Mr Berry, and you know that. They are the only two instances in the ACT of Ministers being subject to inquiries. In neither case did they stand down as Ministers. So, there goes the argument that we would be setting a precedent.

Obviously, we would be setting a precedent in the ACT if Mr De Domenico did stand aside. We have any number of examples around Australia of Ministers not standing aside; but there is very little evidence at all, and certainly none in the Federal Parliament that we can find, of sexual harassment being alleged against a Minister, let alone any precedent for their standing aside. I would be very keen to see the list of precedents for Ministers who have been subject to sexual harassment allegations standing aside. So far we have found none.

Mr Connolly: In the only case that it has happened, they have stood aside. This will be the only time they have not stood aside.

MRS CARNELL: You were saying that there had been precedents all over Australia and that we would be setting a new one. The fact is that there is one. Now they have admitted that there is one, and it is Terry Griffiths. Terry Griffiths was subject to 12 sexual harassment allegations by individual staff over a period of time. In that case 12 staff alleged sexual harassment. Here we have one staff member, not backed up by other staff. But that is getting into the intricacies of this matter, and the whole way through that is the last thing we have wanted to do. We believe that the human rights commissioner must be allowed to continue with this process and that both parties must be allowed to have time to respond and time to do what is appropriate under the Act. Basically, we must allow them to have their time in court on this - not that it is a real court.

What we are talking about here is a fair go - a fair go for Mr De Domenico, a fair go for Ms Marshall and a fair go for the human rights commissioner, who seems to be under as much pressure as anybody else. Nobody on the opposite side of the house seems to accept that she is capable of seeing this whole process through to a fair and equitable conclusion. We believe that she can do that. The very basis of this matter is having faith in the human rights commissioner and the process. We have that faith. We hope that it is concluded sooner rather than later. I think we have now totally got rid of - - -

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Mrs Carnell has made the clear implication that the Opposition does not have faith in the human rights commissioner; that we do not believe that she can conduct this case to a fair conclusion. That is a totally improper and incorrect implication, and I ask that it be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: It may be incorrect, and I accept your assurance on that; but I listened very carefully to Mrs Carnell and she said “it seems that the Opposition”. This is her opinion of it. You have clarified the matter. I do not believe that there is any further point to the point of order.

The member’s time has expired.

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