Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2894 ..
MS FOLLETT (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I have heard what both Mrs Carnell and Mr Moore have had to say about it being a bipartisan deal. I reckon that works both ways. I think that the Government has a lot to prove about bipartisanship here. That was the reason I would not join their delegation. It was not because I could not; it was because I did not want to. In my view, they were the ones with the job ahead of them, not me, and they had to get out and do it themselves. Mr Speaker, I also believe that, if it came to a further offer by the Government for me to accompany a Government delegation, I think I would be well justified in refusing it again. It is one matter for a parliamentary delegation to go. We have had many a parliamentary delegation from Nara. That is clearly a matter for all parties in the parliament, but it is an entirely different matter to join a Government delegation. That is a matter which I would have to consider and reconsider very carefully. You do not find Gareth Evans or Kim Beazley taking the Opposition along with them. Come on, grow up!
Mr Speaker, it depends on what the purpose of the visit is and what purpose the delegation is expected to accomplish; but, in my mind, it is the Liberals who have been extremely crass, very ill advised and very ill informed and who have acted in the poorest of taste in regard to this relationship between Canberra and Nara. They were the ones I have had to apologise for year after year. They were the ones I had to write to the mayor of Nara about immediately after the ACT election to say, "I believe if you approach them properly they might do the right thing". I believe that, now that they have at least taken the first step in persevering with the sister city relationship, it is up to all of the Assembly to support the development of that relationship, but it was the Liberals who mucked it up. It was the Liberals who jeopardised it in the first place. They are the ones who have had to be apologised for. If they have now finally, belatedly, picked up their game and started behaving like adults, then I can say that I am very pleased. I will certainly be keen in the future to pursue this relationship, because I think it is an important one and one that I have been very pleased and very proud to be part of.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.45): Mr Speaker, it is important that I put a few things on record about this debate.
Ms Follett: Yes, tell us about the Second World War.
MR HUMPHRIES: I never said anything about the Second World War.
Ms Follett: It is in the Hansard.
MR HUMPHRIES: You find it.
Ms Follett: I will.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Ms Follett suggested that I made reference to the Second World War. I think if she checks the Hansard she will see that the references to both whaling and the Second World War were not to do with the delegation to Nara; they were to do with the debate about Versailles and why it was inappropriate to single out Versailles for the activities of the French Government, when the same arguments would apply to Japan in respect of other activities. In fact, I did not make reference to the Second World War. It was Mr Cornwell who made the reference, as I recall.