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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1760 ..

Ms Follett: And said that it was a matter for your party.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mrs Carnell is not the Electoral Commissioner. It is not her role to deal with electoral complaints. The commissioner should deal with those complaints. Indeed, to my knowledge, in the matter that concerned me that is what happened. I am sure that that is exactly what has happened in respect of the incident that you witnessed, Ms Follett. He has properly examined those matters and appropriately determined them. Ms Follett shakes her head. That is a very serious slur on the integrity of the Electoral Commissioner. I know for a fact that, in respect of the complaint made against me, he examined the matters quite independently of any involvement by me.

Ms Follett: Quite independently of the fact that you are his Minister?

MR HUMPHRIES: The suggestion by Ms Follett - she laughs about it - is a quite scandalous suggestion. I would ask her to withdraw it. What she is suggesting is that Mr Green would be influenced, by my being his Minister, not to proceed with the complaint. Mr Speaker, when we debated the electoral legislation more than two years ago we took very careful steps to ensure that the Electoral Commissioner was a fully independent statutory position. Indeed, my party argued that he should not report to a Minister at all; he should report to an Assembly committee. It was the view of the then Government, the now Opposition, that he should report to a Minister. As it happens, that is the case. He reports to a Minister and he acts independently on such complaints and investigates them. I had no involvement whatsoever in the complaint. I understand - - -

Mr Berry: Some people would argue differently.

MR HUMPHRIES: I had no involvement in the process of the complaint. I understand - - -

Mr Berry: But you are still the Minister.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Berry repeats the allegation, Mr Speaker, and I ask that it be withdrawn. He has suggested that - - -

MR SPEAKER: If there is any imputation from Ms Follett or Mr Berry against Mr Humphries and against the Electoral Commissioner because Mr Humphries is the Minister, then I must ask that it be withdrawn.

Mr Berry: There is no imputation.

Ms Follett: I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Continue, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members, Mr Speaker. I indicate that - - -

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