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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1450 ..

MR KAINE: Yes. Mr Osborne was not even in the house; that is how interested he was in what Mr Stanhope had to say. But, of course, you are going to get up in a minute and vote.

Mr Osborne: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Mr Osborne: Mr Kaine is alleging that I had no interest in what Mr Stanhope had to say.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

Mr Osborne: I heard his whole speech upstairs.

MR SPEAKER: You will have the opportunity to respond in due course.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I agree with you that there is no point of order. But I do believe that Mr Humphries has a case to answer. The propositions put forward by Mr Stanhope are valid propositions. They raise serious questions about the ability of the Attorney-General to act without bias and prejudice. I do not think that what he has done so far indicates that he can, and nothing that he said this morning in his own defence has reduced my feelings on that matter one iota. I think that the members of the crossbench should be listening very carefully to this debate. They should not have come into this place with their minds made up and unprepared to listen to the debate. I fear, Mr Speaker, that they have done that and I think that the Bender family - - -

Mr Rugendyke: You're wrong, outrageously wrong.

MR KAINE: I hope Mr Rugendyke has the interests of the Bender family in mind when he speaks and when he votes and that he does not support an Attorney-General who, in my view, should not continue in that office.

MR BERRY (11.48): The other day when we were talking about the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Mr Osborne drew attention to the plight of the Bender family and his personal position in relation to it. The tragedy of the matters which Mr Humphries has been involved in is that they again bring into focus the plight of the Bender family. The Bender family's plight is dependent in many ways on their legal representation. It is their legal representation, and therefore their interests, which is being attacked by this Minister. That is why this motion of want of confidence in this Minister has been moved, and it is quite justified on all of the evidence. Mr Humphries spent a lot of time on his defence. There is no doubt that Mr Humphries is a very skilful wordsmith, but if you listen closely there was not much in his defence. He focused on the differences between two sets of statutory declarations. It is possible that another range of statutory declarations will follow. But at the end of the day, I think there is enough evidence in the statutory declarations to convince an ordinary thinking person that there is something in it, that there is a hint that there is something in it.

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