Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3739 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
If I am accused of being sleazy, is it not appropriate that the person who made that statement examine her own conscience as to who was being sleazy? I do not believe that I was. I think my question was a reasonable and honest question, and I believe that the answer given by the Minister was a reasonable and honest answer. The person with the custard on her face was the former Chief Minister and former Leader of the Opposition, who put out that media release in the first place.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, I also seek to make a short statement under standing order 46.
MR SPEAKER: Proceed.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I want to add only one brief thing to what Mr Kaine has already said. Ms Follett claims that she had a good basis on which to say to the public that the service was at risk. I invite her to produce any proof that that was ever the case; that there was ever any doubt that the service would continue. I refer members to a question I was asked that very month in this Assembly by Mr Moore. He asked me whether the service would continue and I categorically assured the Assembly, at the very same time as Ms Follett put this release out, that the service would continue no matter what the cost. That was my commitment, and there was never any basis for suggesting the service was going to end.
MS HORODNY: Mr Speaker, I have a question under standing order 118A. My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. I would like an explanation from the Minister as to why he was unable to provide an answer to question on notice No. 338 within the required 30-day period as set out in the standing orders. The question was put on notice on 25 September and the answer was received only yesterday, 54 days after notification. I seek an explanation.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, perhaps you can take advice on this. I understood that the standing order that Ms Horodny refers to relates to questions which have not yet been answered. This question has - - -
MR SPEAKER: No. We did have this matter discussed earlier, Mr Humphries, and it was ruled that it is reasonable to request an explanation if a question is not answered within the 30 days but is answered after that time. It is still in order for a member to ask why it had not been responded to.
MR HUMPHRIES: I note that it was two or three weeks outside the 30-day period in which it was required to be answered. I do not know why it was not answered sooner. I will take the question on notice and find out.