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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1243 ..

MR HARGREAVES: I must admit to being overawed by, and quite afraid of, the bullying from those people opposite. I am absolutely staggered by the absolute strength with which these people have tried to drown me out, and I accept your assistance, Mr Speaker. It is my recollection that I received information, as I have said, from these people. Mr Speaker, any transgression by a member of a committee ought to be dealt with in the committee. I have tendered an apology for being frivolous and a statement of explanation to the chair. This information was given in good faith and accepted by the chair and, I assume, by the members. Mr Hird opposite was sitting there at the time. There were no comments from any members that they had not accepted my explanations or were dissatisfied. Mr Speaker, I thought the matter rested there. It would appear not.

Mr Speaker, I need to clarify the issue by talking about precedents. My accusers accuse me on the flimsy basis of recollections and have provided no shred of proof that I had breached standing orders, yet they consider themselves so slighted by these recollections that they wish to pursue this. I remind members of the report from the Legal Affairs Standing Committee in September of last year, at page 2907, in which Mr Hird admits to providing the media with information given to the committee. On page 2909 the chair indicated that Mr Hird had not consulted with the committee. Mr Hird is a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety. What abject hypocrisy!

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, members this morning were very keen to limit matters to relevance. If Mr Hargreaves is citing somebody else's wrong as justification for his own - - -

Mr Osborne: He was.

Mr Humphries: He obviously is.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, the personal explanation I am making here is that there is not one shred of proof that I have done what these people believe I have perpetrated. However, there is ample proof in Hansard that those opposite are far more guilty, and it can be proven. I cannot believe the abject hypocrisy of those people opposite.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, it is well established under standing order 46 that members may explain a personal matter where they have been misrepresented or misunderstood but should not use that as a basis to start to attack other members. If Mr Hargreaves wants to change the rules, that is fine but he will need to amend standing orders before he has that privilege.

MR SPEAKER: Members may explain matters of a personal nature. The other problem is that we are getting into repetition.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is, however, significant that statements of personal explanation are in fact a defence mechanism.

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