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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1461 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, question time as well. On the day that Mr Berry faced a motion of want of confidence on VITAB there was no question time. On the day that I faced a want-of-confidence motion in 1997, I think it was, question time was deferred until after the motion was disposed of. The person accused traditionally has that right, and I exercise that right today, Mr Speaker. I ask for question time to be deferred until this matter is resolved. However, I am prepared to accept that the reply of the Leader of the Opposition to the budget is a matter of some significance and I would be quite happy for him to present that reply at 3.00 pm. But that and only that - nothing else - should intervene in the Assembly dealing with this motion of want of confidence.

MR BERRY (12.31): Mr Speaker, there will be no resistance to the course that has been proposed by Mr Humphries. As is the custom in this place when these sorts of motions are before members, essentially the person who is the subject of the motion has his or her say in relation to the matter. I do not see that we need to debate the matter at length. Labor will support the course proposed by Mr Humphries and question time will be delayed as a result, on my understanding of it, but the Leader of the Opposition's response to the budget will not be delayed.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2.30 pm


Motion of Want of Confidence

Debate resumed.

MR QUINLAN (2.31): Mr Speaker, I still consider myself relatively new to this place and on a learning curve in relation to processes and procedures. However, in my time here I have been sometimes bemused and sometimes amazed at the use of the misquote, words taken out of context and straw men built then knocked over. The Attorney-General is the leader of that process par excellence.

In an ironic sort of way, I would be curious to hear how he, or his twin, would have presented this case had it been within his keeping to present it. I remember the day of the implosion. I was a long way from Canberra with a group of people, I hasten to add, raising money for charity. We were gathered together at the end of the day and heard the news from Canberra, and the heaviest pall fell over that group. I was at the time a candidate for election to this place, as opposed to being a member. I remember confiding in my mates at the time, "I hope this is an issue that I personally do not have to be involved in". However, it becomes a necessity, I am afraid.

The matter is one of the gravest matters to confront the people of Canberra and for them to have to come to terms with. I would submit that it is a matter in which anybody

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