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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1434 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

with no conclusion but that this Attorney-General had some ulterior agenda or motive that compromises his position as Attorney-General, as first law officer, and makes him unfit to hold that most significant office in this Government.

In this regard, I will give members the benefit of Mr Bender's reflections on the visit by referring to a statutory declaration that has been provided by Mr Bender. It was not obtained by me, but I have no reason to believe that it is not genuine. It reads:

I, Mato Bender, of 11 Rosebery Street, Fisher in the Australian Capital Territory, Janitor do solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1. Shortly after Katie's death, a woman I had never met before came to our house. She introduced herself to me as -

and I will not say the person's name.

2. [This person] said she was a lawyer working for Gary Humphries. She said that we would need a lawyer and she could help.

3. [This person] came another time with [another person] who I knew. Both [this person] and [this other person] said they had heard that Bernard Collaery was to be our lawyer and that we should not make him our lawyer. Both of them said that he was not a good lawyer. All of us except Mrs Bender were present when they called. She arrived later.

4. They said they would call again. I heard my wife say 'You can come when I invite you. Neither have been back since.

I can read into that, as we all can - - -

Mr Humphries: Will you table that statutory declaration?

MR STANHOPE: I am happy to table that. I seek leave to do so.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I will conclude on that, Mr Speaker. One can only but imagine at the impact of this additional stress on the Bender family. It reinforces absolutely the inappropriate behaviour of this Attorney-General. This Attorney-General does not deserve to remain, and cannot remain, as the Attorney-General for the ACT.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.53): Mr Speaker, in responding to this motion, I would ask that I be given leave to speak without limitation of time.

Leave granted.

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