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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 496 ..



this report but we do not agree with it. We will put it on the table anyway", you are pretending that I am pretty gullible, Mr Stanhope, and you know and I know that that is not the case.

Mr Speaker, we take a different approach from the approach taken by the former Government. (Extension of time granted) It should be put on the table. It has been, but it does reflect the Government's views. There are no two ways about that.

Mr Speaker, let me make one last point in this debate. The convention about motions of censure has been that Ministers, or others, for that matter, who mislead the Assembly - that is, who make statements which are false and misleading - should be censured for that. This Government has supported that principle. The Opposition has certainly supported the principle. We have all supported that principle. I ask Ms Tucker to listen very carefully to this point in particular. There has always been the view that, if members are prepared to undo the damage that they may have done by their earlier statements, to correct any misleading impression which may have been created, at the first available opportunity, then they should not experience the effect of a motion of censure. That has always been the Assembly's view.

Members are faced today with the position that the Minister has come back and has qualified what he said yesterday. I would ask members to cast their minds back to the motion of censure of Mr Corbell last year about outages in Victoria. Mr Corbell gave inaccurate information to the Assembly about the reliability of power supplies after privatisation in Victoria. Mr Corbell came back to the Assembly, quoted his source and said, "Well, I was accurately quoting my source. If I had had other information available to me - in fact, the full picture available to me - I may have said something different to the Assembly".

Mr Smyth has not used any less honest an appraisal of his position today in the Assembly. It would be a travesty if Mr Corbell were not to have been censured on that occasion but Mr Smyth were to be censured today in the same circumstances. Mr Speaker, to be consistent about censure motions, I say that members should not support this motion today.

MR OSBORNE (12.17): Mr Speaker, I tend to roll my eyes when anyone stands up and talks about censure motions because I think that over the years they have tended to become quite meaningless. I think I said when Mr Stanhope moved the motion against Mr Moore that, if you are serious about getting stuck into a Minister, you move a no-confidence motion. I have to say, though, that this debate is not about the issue of rural residential, because I have stood up in this place and indicated my support for the concept and I will continue to support the concept. This is about the use of the word "independent" by the Minister - not outside in private meetings but in this chamber.

Obviously, today he has to a certain extent clarified the position. I think it was an apology. I think that to a certain extent he has explained his role in the situation, Mr Speaker. When I was approached by Mr Corbell yesterday, I must admit that

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