Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1458 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
grave concern about the judgment of Jon Stanhope in bringing this matter into the Assembly on the day when he is supposed to be replying to the budget. The responsibility of the person who is the alternative Chief Minister is shallow and the judgment is poor. I have to say that it indicates poor leadership. He had the opportunity to show some leadership only a few minutes ago when Mr Humphries actually tabled and read the alternative views and distanced himself very clearly from the issue that Mr Collaery was really interested in raising - whether there had been advice from Mr Humphries to the Bender family that Mr Collaery is not a very good lawyer. It is clear that that has not happened and everybody knows that it has not happened.
Mr Stanhope: Mr Bender doesn't know that.
MR MOORE: It is very clear that everybody in this chamber knows that that has not happened. I had an interjection from Mr Stanhope, who said, "Mr Bender doesn't know that". That is not what Mr Bender says. You would know that better than anybody, Jon Stanhope, because you have a legal background. You know exactly how to read what Mr Bender says. At no stage does Mr Bender's affidavit accuse Gary Humphries of saying that or of getting that message through. The second element is that we have a departmental liaison officer, not one of his staff, and a third element that says, in fact, that it was not that woman that spoke to Mr Bender at all, but somebody further distanced. That is hearsay evidence. It can never be accepted in any sense as evidence, and Mr Stanhope knows that. However, if we are going to have this shallow political exercise, we might as well continue with it.
Mr Kaine in his comments suggested that the main issue here was the act of reporting by Mr Humphries and whether there was bias in it. I think that is an interesting question. The answer to it is very clear, Mr Kaine. Had Mr Humphries had the bias that we are talking about and the strength of feeling that may or may not exist, then the option he had always was to leak in one way or another the letter that he had given to the Law Society.
Instead he gave it at arm's length to the Law Society four months after the initial issue. Why did Mr Humphries take four months? That question has been raised quite a number of times. We all know that Mr Humphries does like to deliberate over things. I must say that I find it incredibly frustrating - - -
Mr Kaine: Do you mean that he procrastinates?
MR MOORE: You use the word "procrastinate"; I am using the term "deliberate over things". I know that I find it very frustrating at times.
Mr Kaine: That doesn't explain it.
MR MOORE: It does not explain that, but let me give you another little example, Mr Kaine. How long did Mr Humphries take with the other cases? Today he mentioned that one of the other cases was the Jadric case. How long did Mr Humphries take to write the letter to the Law Society on that one? It so happens that I asked and the answer I got was 51/2 months. Yes, there is something about how long Mr Humphries takes to do these things. I know that he likes to think things through in a very thorough way.