Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 260 ..
Mr Hird: You are not putting a slur on the professor, are you?
MR BERRY: No, I am not putting a slur on Professor Pettit. I am quite impressed with Professor Pettit.
Mr Moore: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Once again my point of order is under standing order 55. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, having heard Mr Berry speak very publicly on this matter on a number of occasions, that he has already imputed improper motives publicly. He is already going down exactly the same - - -
MR BERRY: To whom? Which member?
Mr Moore: To a member; me in particular. You also publicly impugn the motives of Professor Pettit, which is an appalling thing - - -
MR BERRY: Which member?
Mr Moore: In this case I am talking about me. You have imputed improper motives. Do not continue.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, you must appreciate that people outside this chamber do not have any means of redress or recourse. I hope that no criticism or imputation will be made against them.
MR BERRY: Nobody outside this chamber will need to worry about that. The Labor Party was not consulted on the appointment of Professor Pettit. It was an arrangement principally between Mr Moore and the Chief Minister. Labor was informed that Professor Pettit was contacted by Mr Moore in New York and offered the position, and that was subsequently consummated in some way. I accept categorically that Professor Pettit, in the performance of this inquiry, brought with him expertise from an academic background which had to be appreciated. Nevertheless, I am entitled to question the circumstances which left the Labor Party out of the loop when it came to the consultation process.
MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.
MR BERRY: I think it would do the public record good for me to have a short extension of time.
Mr Moore: No way.
MR BERRY: I will get one in the adjournment debate, Michael, and it will be worse if you do not let me have it now. (Extension of time granted) Those are the circumstances. Labor was left out of the loop. If you are left out of the loop, you do not feel inclined to participate in those circumstances. It was the wrong time for an inquiry - I said so at the time - because there was an election in full flight. It was an inappropriate time to do it. It was, in my view, political.