Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2293 ..
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, through you, I put a question to Mr Humphries, the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. Minister, I am sure that you are aware of recent comments made by the former Leader of the Opposition, Ms Follett, that you should take the community into your confidence and tell us what is proposed for Rugby League Park in Braddon. Minister, what justification could Ms Follett possibly have for making such a statement?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Kaine for the question. I remember reading some time ago a story by Edgar Allan Poe in which a character had to hide a letter, and he did so by putting it in a particular room, in a letter rack, in an envelope. It was such an obvious place to look that nobody looked there.
Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: A concise answer to the question is all that is required, not Mr Humphries's new rendition of what Edgar Allan Poe wrote.
Mr Kaine: I find the answer quite interesting.
MR SPEAKER: Order! I am interested to hear Mr Humphries.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I am not at all concerned whether or not you are interested to hear it. What I am concerned about is that the standing orders are adhered to and that you ensure that they are.
MR SPEAKER: They will be quite dramatically, in a minute. Mr Humphries is answering the question as he sees fit.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, am I to take from that that, if one rises on a point of order in this place, one is threatened with being chucked out?
MR SPEAKER: No. But you know perfectly well, Mr Berry, that Ministers can answer questions as they see fit. Preambles are allowed in the answer to a question, just as they are in the initial question, and that is what Mr Humphries is doing.
Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, in connection with Mr Berry's point of order, I draw your attention, and his, to standing order 202(a).
MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Kaine. Proceed, Mr Humphries. You were discussing Poe's purloined letter, I think, in your preamble.
MR HUMPHRIES: That is exactly right, Mr Speaker - the case of the purloined letter. Obviously, there is one literate person in the chamber. The moral of the story is that sometimes we should look in the most obvious place to find what we are looking for. In her press release of about three or four weeks ago, Ms Follett made reference to the secret plans. The press release, which was headed "Rugby League Park - What's the Secret Agenda?", read: