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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 785 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

The Government will need to urgently give consideration to a Bill to deal with the issue raised, but given its enormous sensitivity and my wish for this not to be a debate which, on the floor of the Assembly, may prejudice the inquest, I would appreciate the Committee's views.

Mr Speaker, it was clearly the Government's intention to proceed with legislation and, for some reason, they decided to smother it.

Mr Moore: You've deliberately misled by taking it out of context.

Mr Humphries: That is garbage.

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Moore has made a suggestion that Mr Berry has deliberately misled the Assembly. I would ask you to request him and Mr Humphries, who has supported that assertion, to withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Gentlemen, if you made the assertion, withdraw, please.

Mr Stanhope: I heard it.

Mr Wood: I heard it.

MR SPEAKER: I did not.

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, we are aware that there is no impact in a substantive motion against an Opposition member for misleading the Assembly. When it comes back to the reverse, Mr Speaker, it will be an interesting story. But, because of the standing orders, Mr Speaker, I withdraw the imputation.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I would remind all members of standing orders. It is not normal, though Mr Osborne did get permission to do so, to speak when you are adjourning a debate.

Mr Kaine: Standing order 65, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: We will have to look at the matter very carefully, I think, and perhaps amend standing orders to make sure that that does not happen again if we are going to go on with this farce.

MR BERRY: Mr Osborne, I think the case has been well made and I think we should proceed with it. It is a sensible piece of legislation which I will respond to more fully given the opportunity to close the debate at some point in time, hopefully today. The amendments which have been put forward address a situation which the community expects us as a legislature to repair.

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