Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 58 ..
MR SPEAKER: Members, the Canberra Times would like to take some photographs. The Canberra Times was not covered in the agreement this morning for television and radio broadcasting. Is it the wish of the Assembly that the Canberra Times be given leave to take photographs?
MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety, Mr Humphries. Minister, can you explain why a representative of the insurance company known as AAMI was appointed to the ACT Crime Prevention Committee? Was this appointment made because AAMI had donated funds to the Liberal Party, as claimed by the new Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope, in a media release issued, I believe, in February this year?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for the question. I hope that Mr Stanhope does not go too far away, because I have to mention him in this answer. I can answer the second part of Mr Hird's question by saying simply no. But the fact that that allegation had been raised at all in the context of the recent ACT campaign indicated, I think, the increasing desperation of the Labor Party which at that stage asked that question or posed that allegation. As I look at the Opposition benches today, I am reminded of some of the outrageous and downright dangerous methods that the Australian Labor Party used during the recent campaign in order to, it thought, secure votes, methods which Mr Stanhope has today - I think, to Mr Berry's horror - apologised for.
Whether the methods relied on allegations about AAMI's membership of the Crime Prevention Committee, the Totalcare incinerator spewing out noxious fumes into the atmosphere or the poisonous state of the water supply going to the residents of Tharwa, it seems that no fact or truth was going to stand in the way of Labor's quest for government. Mr Stanhope's allegations about AAMI, Mr Speaker, I can report, contain no element of truth whatsoever. Mr Stanhope said - and I quote from his press release - - -
Ms Carnell: It is very negative, is it not?
MR HUMPHRIES: It is a bit, slightly. The press release said:
Mr Stanhope said that he hoped the ACT Government's decision to exclude NRMA from involvement in its crime prevention initiatives in the ACT would not lead to a decision by the NRMA to cease its long involvement in community safety and crime prevention issues in Canberra.
AAMI has a history of donations to the Liberal Party in Australia.