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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2066 ..

MR BERRY: It includes you. You can explain whether in fact there was a deal or not, or deny that there was a deal. We will hear you deny that there was a deal, of course - over and over again - but who believes you? My amendment goes to the issue. Although it has been hurriedly prepared, I hope that it allows every member in this chamber to speak. It would have been easier for us to prepare this in a less hurried fashion had Mr Humphries been so gracious as to consult with me as manager of Opposition business. Had that happened, this matter could have been properly debated. This is more of the old consultative-style government, is it not?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, your time has expired.

MR KAINE (10.45): Mr Speaker, it seems to me that the motion put forward by the Minister to suspend standing orders to allow the Opposition to have its day in court, so to speak, is the only fair way to deal with this matter. For two weeks now we have had the spectacle of members of the Opposition coming in here and, by innuendo and implication, damning a Minister and another member of this Assembly. They have not put on the table a single jot of information that has any substance to it, but they seem to work on the basis that if you throw enough mud it sticks. I do not think that is good enough.

For Mr Berry to take the defensive attitude that this motion is unfair and unreasonable is, of course, an absurdity. They have been ready for two weeks to throw the mud. Now is the time for them to put up or shut up. But, of course, they will wimp out if they can, because they know that there is no substance to their allegations. They know that the process is the one that they themselves put in place. They know that the process was rigidly adhered to. That has been stated time and time again. They know that the outcome was a good one for the Territory in terms of the sale of the product that was auctioned. Yet they persist with this slime campaign. Mr Berry used the words "sleazy motion". The sleaze comes from only one side of this house.

I support the Minister in his reasonable attempt to get the Opposition to stand up and put the case, if they have one. I note that the Leader of the Opposition has been very quiet on this whole issue. Other members of the Opposition have been firing the shots, but Mr Humphries's motion allows for that. If the Leader of the Opposition does not want to be part of the sleaze campaign, then she can let somebody else take the running of it. It is a reasonable motion. I support it. Let us get this matter on the table, dealt with and over and done with.

MR HUMPHRIES (10.48): I just want to make one small point on this matter.

Mr Wood: Are you going to support the amendment?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, of course. We would have given anyone leave to speak on this matter. We want to have a full debate on the matter, which we have not had before.

Mr Berry: Why did you not say so in your motion?

Mr Wood: Your motion did not allow that.

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