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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1239 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

that it was okay to release that prisoner. But, Mr Speaker, that was not a decision made or conveyed or in any other way contributed to by anybody in the ACT, as far as I am aware. I have to say again that I think there is a very big question hanging over the New South Wales prison system to explain why a prisoner was released from their gaol when there was no legal authority to do so.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Minister has not really answered the question.

Mr Humphries: Yes, I have.

MR HARGREAVES: The question I asked was who was right, the Minister or the chairman of the Parole Board?

Mr Humphries: And I said they were both right. There is no contradiction.

MR HARGREAVES: He said, "It was the New South Wales prison system". It has become clear to me, notwithstanding the amount of waffle - - -

Mr Humphries: Is there a question here, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Question?

MR HARGREAVES: The question is coming very shortly, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: No preamble. Question please.

MR HARGREAVES: Yes, Mr Speaker. Given that the Minister has indicated, in my view and in the view of my colleagues here, a reckless disregard for this Assembly in not answering the question, will he now apologise to this Assembly for refusing to answer the question? The question is: Was it you who got it wrong or was it the chairman who got it wrong? We do not want to know about New South Wales.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am glad that Mr Hargreaves asked that question because it illustrates again the sort of standard which the Opposition is applying in debates like the one we had this morning. I have said to the house very clearly that what the Parole Board chairman said was not untrue; it was perfectly accurate. What I have told this house on that subject is also perfectly accurate. There is no contradiction between those two statements.

Mr Hargreaves: There is.

MR HUMPHRIES: There is not, Mr Hargreaves.

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