Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1299 ..
MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (6.10): Mr Speaker, I think Mr Rugendyke, in applying his police background, sifting through evidence and drawing his conclusions, has put it rather succinctly. Indeed, he has followed the good work of the speech of Bill Wood, who quoted me about the range of principles that apply to this sort of decision. I would like to thank Mr Wood for doing that for me. It is going to shorten my speech significantly. It is greatly appreciated. However, my support is dependent on delivering the level of proof that Mr Rugendyke talks about. We have already spent a huge amount of time today on something that simply has not been substantiated. The motion simply has not been substantiated.
Let me deal with a couple of things. The beginning of Mr Wood's speech I found very interesting. He said "Look, we should not be dealing too much with Harcourt Hill, because it is a digression, a $20m digression. After all, it was not my fault; it was John Howard's fault". I would say that there was a stronger level of proof of misleading applying to that statement than ever there was to the statements made by Mr Humphries or Mrs Carnell, if you are looking at recklessly misleading. I do not think Mr Wood's statement was misleading. I think there was a bit of flamboyance and a matter of opinion in it and a little bit of rhetoric, and therefore I accept it.
Look at the issue of blocks and leases. I have been working fairly intensely on the leasehold system in this Territory since about 1983. When people were talking about a block and a lease, I thought, "A lease is the bit of paper and a block is the land". Then I heard people pretty well interchange the terms "blocks" and "leases". It did not register for me as anything extraordinary, because we often deal with the words "blocks" and "leases" in an interchange in normal language. Even when the letter that Mrs Carnell wrote to us and the letter Mr Humphries wrote to us on whatever the date was - - -
Mr Berry: Have you tried signing a block lately, or bringing a block into your office instead of a lease?
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, can you protect me from Mr Berry?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, I will, Mr Moore.
MR MOORE: Thank you. I hardly ever stand to speak without Mr Berry's constant interjections.
MR SPEAKER: Please respect the standing orders, Mr Berry.
MR MOORE: It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that had there been a strong reason, a good argument, for a decent censure motion here it could have been put succinctly. There has been no effort whatsoever to put a succinct case, with the exception to a certain extent of Mr Corbell, who did put an argument, I felt, in a reasonably succinct way. I do not accept the argument but he did put it in a reasonably succinct way. It was more about the leasehold system generally than about the specific issue that is the subject of this censure motion today. I do not believe that the Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister deliberately misled the Assembly, nor do I think anybody here believes that they deliberately misled the Assembly.