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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1639 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: You wanted it tabled. How can you table a stolen document?

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Berry.

MR HUMPHRIES: The other extraordinary thing about this allegation is the hypocrisy of those who make claims about using confidential documents that have been obtained from somebody else, somebody else's documents. I have here a copy of a press release from Mr Quinlan headed "Stefaniak Confused Over Numbers", quoting supposed issues to do with the costing of sporting facilities in the ACT. Attached to it is a copy of a confidential document which has been taken, presumably, from someone's confidential possession and which, presumably, on the test imposed by Mr Berry and Mr Wood, is stolen. If I have to hand up stolen documents, why is Mr Quinlan not handing back stolen documents? I leave members with this thought: No matter what airs and graces members opposite might give themselves in these matters, does anyone seriously imagine that if the Ayers report had fallen off the back of a truck in front of Mr Berry or Mr Wood or Mr Quinlan or Mr Kaine they would not have picked it up and used it in precisely the same way as I have, probably more so?

Mr Kaine: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. I insist that I would have returned it, as the Commonwealth shadow Attorney-General did.

MR SPEAKER: I am not in the least bit interested in what you would have done, Mr Kaine.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, and Mr Kaine will be flying home to Tuggeranong tonight on a big pink pig. We all know that there is a huge amount of hypocrisy in this particular issue. I have at least been honest enough to keep the document confidential, in accordance with the terms on which it was given to me.

MR WOOD: My supplementary question is to the first law officer. Which decision do you most regret - accepting the document or letting it slip that you had it?

MR SPEAKER: You do not really have to answer that.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not regret being honest to this house on any occasion. I might say that that has been to my disadvantage. When I was honest enough to tell the truth to the Estimates Committee, I had criticism on that occasion. When in answer to a question in this house I was honest enough also to tell the truth about having had possession of the document, I gave rise to a press release, a quite dishonest press release, by Mr Berry - not that that is a particularly unique description of anything Mr Berry puts out - alleging that I had lied to the Estimates Committee. Mr Speaker, those sorts of things - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I think there was an imputation that I was dishonest.

MR SPEAKER: No, there was not, actually. There was certainly an imputation that Mr Humphries was dishonest.

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