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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1298 ..

Mr Stanhope: Here or there.

MS CARNELL: Give or take $100,000 - is that what you are saying? It was $107,000, as we know. All of that information will be used in future rural residential development or future subdivision of that particular area. I think we have shown time and time again that this is just ridiculous. I think we have shown categorically that this Government, or Mr Humphries and I, did not in any way mislead this Assembly, whether it be intentionally or recklessly. The fact is that we did not. Mr Corbell, in his comments a few minutes ago, tried to indicate that we had somehow been forced to admit the issue of leases. No questions whatsoever were asked in the Assembly until after the 18th, apart from Lucy Horodny's question in September, until we terminated the agreement. (Extension of time granted) The issue here is not what happened after the PA was signed but what happened before the PA was signed. That is what this debate has been about, yet almost all the documents those opposite have quoted from have referred to things that happened after the PA was signed and become somewhat irrelevant to why the Government entered into a preliminary agreement with Derek Whitcombe.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Rugendyke, I would like to recognise the presence in the gallery of the Deputy Mayor of Renmark Paringa District Council, Mrs Trish McAuliffe, and her husband. Welcome.

MR RUGENDYKE (6.07): Mr Speaker, I have sat here all day with an extremely open mind. I have been lobbied left, right and centre on this issue. We have come here with the promise of a big conspiracy of some sort. That is why we have had to listen carefully to all the debate. What have we had? We have heard about everything that we have been told over the last several months. Twenty-two times we have come to question time and heard the same old questions again over and over. Where is the conspiracy? Unless Mr Stanhope's final 15 minutes of fame comes up with a knockout punch, I do not know that we have had it. I guess what we have seen, if nothing else, is perhaps a monumental cock-up. Excuse the language, but that is what it may well be. But there is a major difference between a cock-up and a conspiracy, or whatever it is that this motion has tried to find.

I have also been sitting here wondering just exactly what standard of proof we might need to establish that this motion should be supported - the balance of probabilities, as in a civil court, or beyond reasonable doubt, as in a criminal court. That is my background; that is my knowledge of these sorts of things. My thoughts would be that this place is much more revered and much more important than the Magistrates Court or the Supreme Court, so my standard of proof here is beyond reasonable doubt. I am sure, Mr Speaker, that we have wasted far too many words here today, only to come to the conclusion that this motion has not been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt. On that basis, unless there are knockout blows in the final summation, I am unable to support this motion.

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