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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1033 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

(Extension of time granted) I raised that question in the earlier debate, and nobody has answered it as yet. Why should they be penalised in that way? I hope Mr Berry will attempt to answer that question.

Let us assume that I made a terrible mistake and I did not act to amend this legislation before the end of the limitation period, last July. Let us assume for this debate that I am terribly guilty of that. This amendment does not hurt me. It does not criminalise anything that I have done. It criminalises the activities of other people, perhaps employees of the Territory, certainly people who are workers, people doing their job on a day-to-day basis, who at the moment enjoy the protection of the law. They are the ones this legislation targets. On what basis do you say, "Mr Humphries made a mistake, but you wear the consequences of it."? That has not been explained. I look forward to someone explaining why they feel that that is an appropriate course of action.

Let me make two points. First of all, we have had inconsistent views about whether this is retrospective or not. Mr Berry actually told the ABC this morning, when he was on the radio, "This is not retrospective. I do not understand what Mr Humphries is on about. I cannot understand what Mr Humphries is talking about. It is not retrospective at all". Today he said that it does contain retrospective elements. Which is it, Mr Berry? Is it retrospective, as you told us today, or is it not, as you told the ABC's listeners today?

Mr Corbell: It sounds like you are misrepresenting him again, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: I think not, Mr Corbell. You look at what he said on ABC radio this morning.

Mr Corbell: You have a record of misrepresenting people, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not think so. Mr Speaker, I ask that Mr Corbell withdraw that remark.

Mr Corbell: I withdraw the comment, Mr Speaker.

MR HUMPHRIES: The fact of the matter is that although this is targeted at certain individuals, individuals who are not yet named although we have some idea who they may be, this does not cover just those individuals. You can laugh, Mr Berry, if you want, but the fact is that this is very serious. We are not talking about just those individuals Mr Berry clearly has in mind.

Mr Berry: I do not have anybody in mind.


Mr Berry: I do not have anybody in mind.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Berry, you moved this for one reason and one reason only. You want to embarrass the Carnell Government because you believe that you can widen the net that this particular inquest might cast and catch more individuals and possibly

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