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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2133 ..

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I find this situation quite extraordinary. I cannot understand why, if the Minister made a statement in this place and some of us did not hear it, he is not prepared to make it again. However, perhaps there is another way around this. I made notes and Mr Humphries said, yes, the Minister made inaccurate statements yesterday. We are hearing from the other side, but not from the Minister, for a reason which I really cannot understand. If I am hearing from that side of the house that, in fact, Mr Smyth did stand up and acknowledge that he had basically misrepresented the role of the TWU in negotiations on the enterprise bargaining agreement and he has apologised for that, then I am prepared to not support this censure motion, because that is, obviously, all I have been asking for.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (5.45): Mr Speaker, the reason I support Mr Smyth in not standing up again to say it is that it exposes how readily these people will go to a censure motion and how unwilling they are to listen when somebody is trying to clarify a position that they have. I think they are making their own point.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.45): Mr Speaker, this spurious censure motion revolves around a question that I asked yesterday in question time so I feel obliged to make a brief comment. This is a lot of hoo-ha over nothing really. I think we will all read Hansard tomorrow and we will realise that Mr Smyth did get up and say certain things along the lines of: "Well, if someone thought I misled, I am sorry". I personally do not feel misled. He clarified the answer to my question. This is a nonsense. Let us get on with it.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.46), in reply: I will be brief. I think it has all been said. There are just a few things that I will repeat. If I had thought that the Minister had admitted that he had misled the Assembly and had apologised for that, quite genuinely I would not have moved the motion. I did not hear - - -

Mr Humphries: You should check Hansard.

MR STANHOPE: Let me knock this off. If the Minister gave some qualified acknowledgment that he had misled the Assembly and had misrepresented the position of the TWU, saying that if anybody believed he had misrepresented he apologised, that is not an apology. One cannot withdraw imputations against one's colleagues. One cannot withdraw imputations against the Speaker by saying, "Well, if you were offended, Mr Speaker". Mr Speaker, you would not accept that. If I said to you, "Mr Speaker, if you were offended by that remark I made then I withdraw", you would not accept that for one second. If I impugn one of my colleagues and I attempt to withdraw that imputation by saying, "Mr Speaker, if I offended my colleague, if I impugned my colleague's honesty, then I withdraw", you would not accept that for one minute.

Mr Humphries: Yes, they do it all the time. He does it all the time.

MR STANHOPE: Not if I say "if".

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