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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2121 ..

MR STANHOPE: I will conclude. I honestly think that this mislead is just so blatant. I do not know whether the Minister was just reckless yesterday, or whether he did not read his brief, or whether he did not understand, but, for whatever reason, the Minister misled this place. I wish that he had accepted Ms Tucker's invitation. I wish he had stood up in this place and apologised. (Extension of time granted) I wish he had stood up and had the decency and the integrity to withdraw the imputation that he has made against the TWU and Mr Santi in this place through his answer yesterday. He let this place and the people of Canberra believe that the TWU was not negotiating with ACTION, had no firm proposals and was not interested in a negotiated outcome. He gave those impressions. He made those statements knowing them to be not true.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (5.13): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will be the only speaker on behalf of the Government on this motion because I do not think anything as pathetic as this so-called motion of censure deserves any greater response from the Government, any greater effort on the part of the members of the Government, or any greater waste of the Assembly's time. I have made the point many times before in this place about the debasing of the currency of censure motions.

Mr Stanhope's comments in this debate were entirely about the remarks made by Mr Smyth yesterday in this place. If Mr Stanhope's motion is based entirely upon what was said yesterday in this place there may be some inkling, some kernel of a case for a motion of censure against this Minister. I concede that to start with.

Mr Quinlan: Guilty as charged, Your Honour.

Mr Stanhope: He thinks you are guilty, Brendan.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. A censure motion is a serious matter. They have put their censure motion. Mr Humphries is defending his ministerial colleague and you would think that they would listen to hear what the defence is.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. I ask the Opposition to hear the leader of the house in silence.

MR HUMPHRIES: If we were simply judging the accuracy of what has been said to the chamber on the basis of what was said in the house yesterday then, as I said, there may be a kernel of a case for censuring the Minister; but the Minister today has done what all good Ministers do when they believe, as they inevitably will at some point in a ministerial career, that they may have given inaccurate information to the house or may not have fully painted an accurate picture to the house.

Mr Berry: He lied.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think Mr Berry said, "You lied", and that is - - -

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