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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 992 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

When we get to the detail stage, Mr Speaker, we will be opposing the part of the legislation dealing with the power of search and, as a corollary to that, we will be opposing those aspects of the Bill that deal with confiscation. To the extent that I am being a little bit fatalistic - I do not want to pre-empt the outcome of the debate or the vote on this - I live in hope that these particular parts of the legislation may not be successful, but I should say that I was happy to see the amendments which the Attorney is proposing. I think they significantly overcome some fairly major problems that exist with the provisions as drafted.

There is one other thing that I will raise, and I raise it seriously. The Attorney took me to task about my statistic reading capacity in the previous debate. In that debate I quite explicitly said that I was dealing just with the inadequacy of the statistics made available to me by the Australian Institute of Criminology. I explicitly stated that I was reading only those statistics relating to streets and footpaths. The statistics available to me, under the heading "Street/footpath", revealed no offences recorded for the ACT.

Mr Humphries: Yes; but it was a wrong reading of the statistics.

MR STANHOPE: It is not.

Mr Humphries: Either by you or by the Institute of Criminology, one or the other.

MR STANHOPE: It is not. It is quite explicit under "Street/footpath". I was not concealing the fact that there were other designations, and that under those other designations and descriptions there were numbers of offences. I was explicit about that, and the Hansard will record that.

The Minister then tabled his statistics, upbraided me, and challenged my ability to read statistics. He even went so far as to suggest I should be careful not to mislead the Assembly. He claimed that I had misread the statistics. He said that his statistics revealed all these offences. Actually, Minister, you suggested that I had misled, when I was explicit that I was speaking about only streets and footpaths. Under the heading "Street/footpath" in the material tabled by the Minister, what is revealed for the ACT? It reveals nil offences. Minister, you have misled this house - - -

Mr Humphries: You were not listening. You were not listening to what I had to say. I will repeat it in a moment. You will have a chance to hear what I have to say.

MR STANHOPE: I ask you, Minister, to apologise for misleading this house.

Mr Humphries: No, not at all.

MR SPEAKER: Gentlemen, this is not relevant to the current debate. You may bring it up, if you like, at some later time.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I did not refer at any stage to Mr Stanhope misleading. He has now referred to me as misleading, and I think that is unparliamentary. I would ask him to withdraw it.

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