Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 3467 ..
MR SMYTH: In the last four years, Mr Speaker, the Carnell Government has had to answer for the ineptitude of the previous Labor governments in not being able to solve this problem. As all here would know, it resulted in a Bill in this place last year to help solve this dilemma. There were three clubs here at various times. The old ACT Rugby League Club Inc. is no longer around. Its successors, the Canberra District Rugby League Club and the ACT Leagues Club have leases. They have leases that started on 30 September. They will pay rent and rates on those leases. That leaves us with the previous lease. There is a sum of $48,000 there. Because of the ineptitude of the previous Labor Government in not being able to solve these problems, the Carnell Government, including Mr Humphries, worked through this, with the assistance of Mr Hird. They are to be congratulated for coming to a solution on this.
Opposition members interjected.
MR SPEAKER: I cannot hear anything for a lot of cackling coming from my left.
MR SMYTH: Yes, the hyenas are gathering. The hyenas have gathered, Mr Speaker, and that is all we get. We get the howling and the cackling. The head hyena has just sat down and that is a great outcome for the day. We have looked at this debt. The advice I have is that the debt has been written off.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Is there a standing order that prevents a Minister from digging a hole for himself?
MR SPEAKER: No, but there is a standing order which states that members can be disciplined for persistently and wilfully obstructing the business of the Assembly. Please continue, Mr Minister. You might like to remember, Mr Berry.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, you can gauge the level of disgrace that they feel by the interjections and the comments that we get. What they are embarrassed about is that they were not able to solve this. The answer is simply that the now defunct ACT Rugby League - - -
Mr Quinlan: Embarrass me some more.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
Mr Berry: The red faces are on your side.
MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Berry.
MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is pleasing to hear you say that because the head hyena over there will cackle himself out of the place if he is not too careful. What we had was the ACT Rugby League Inc. Because of the tussle over this site, because the needs of the rugby league community were not met by the previous Labor Government, it was left to this Government to resolve them. Yes, debts were accrued that they were not in a position to pay.