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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 2363 ..

Motion of Censure

MR HUMPHRIES (Acting Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (3.31): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion of censure.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members. Mr Speaker, I have circulated the motion in the chamber. I move:

That this Assembly censures Mr Corbell for comments made during the Matter of Public Importance debate on 27 October 1998 which misled members of the Assembly about figures associated with power outage in Victoria, as a result of privatisation.

Mr Speaker, first of all, I apologise to members of the Assembly for them not having Hansard available. The Hansard came to my office during lunchtime and I had assumed that it was available to all members, but apparently that is not the case. I hope that they now have it. I have copies of the relevant page of Hansard, which is page 77, here for members to look at. I might distribute them in case members have not got their copy of Hansard yet. I am not sure whether it is available as yet.

MR SPEAKER: Inquiries have revealed that Hansard was distributed to all members at 1.30 pm.

MR HUMPHRIES: I see. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Members, I hope, have now had a chance to have a look at the Hansard, which presumably they have. Mr Speaker, this place has witnessed a large number of censure motions in recent days. I have asserted many times in this place that the use of a censure motion should be reserved for only the most serious occasions. We should use it sparingly to preserve its value. Today is one such occasion and I ask members to take seriously the matter which I put before them.

Mr Speaker, this place has moved on several occasions in recent months to censure a member because he or she has misled the chamber and because the use of words was not sufficiently precise to convey the correct meaning to the Assembly. It has also been alleged on those occasions that the Assembly has been misled by words.

Mr Berry: Blocks and leases.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is a good illustration, Mr Speaker - the confusion between blocks and leases. The fact is that the Assembly has taken a high standard in these matters. It has put a high bar and has accepted anything below that bar as being a matter worthy of censure. Members in this place, and in this Government, in fact, faced censure in the last few months, even when - - -

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