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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2127 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

What that is implying to any reasonable person is that the TWU is not negotiating. It is not about a firm offer. Mr Smyth, when he explained that, said that the last part of the sentence, "I am yet to hear from the TWU", actually refers back to the first part of his answer which was about firm offers. The word "negotiations" is in the same sentence as the phrase "I am yet to hear from the TWU".

Mr Humphries: He clarified that, Kerrie.

Mr Moore: That is what he clarified. He said he apologised if that was misleading.

MS TUCKER: If Mr Smyth is prepared to stand up here and say - - -

Mr Moore: He did.

MS TUCKER: I think I have already asked this. The interjections are quite unnecessary if members want to finish this debate. I want to hear from Mr Smyth that he believes that the union has worked in good faith, negotiating with him over the last period.

Mr Humphries: Oh, come on.

MS TUCKER: All right, forget the good faith - you do not like that - although I would think that was a fairly reasonable thing to say, considering the amount of work they have put into it. I ask that he explain that he has been negotiating with the TWU over the last few weeks. That would clarify to my satisfaction that, in fact, he has settled this issue, otherwise I believe he has misled and given a very unfair representation of the circumstances around the negotiations.

MR BERRY (5.30): I am absolutely surprised that Mr Smyth, innocent though he pleads, has not yet risen in this place to defend himself. The motion has been moved and Mr Smyth sits there, glued to his seat, refusing to repeat what other people think he said earlier in the piece. I issue this challenge to Mr Smyth: Rise to your feet and apologise for misleading the house and the motion will be withdrawn.

Let us look at the evidence here. The first thing that Mr Smyth did was create the impression that something was happening, which was not. In fact, he worked hard to create the impression that it was the Transport Workers Union which was at fault. That was the impression Mr Smyth attempted to create. That is one way of misleading the house. It is not only the words, but the words are even more damning. You all recall the impression that he created when he stood up here. You cannot always get from the words in Hansard all that you get from the theatrics and impressions which are portrayed by various people. Mr Brendan Smyth attempted to create a false impression for members of this place. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Then all you have to do is look at the words, and it is confirmed. Lie one:

I have checked with Mr Thurston, the head of ACTION, and as yet we have received no firm offers from the TWU at all.

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