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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1466 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

community, what the Leader of the Opposition has to offer us is absolutely nothing. The only way to cover up your inadequacies in answering the budget surplus is to put up a smokescreen.

Ms Tucker says that there is a lack of confidence in the Government and a lack of confidence in process. I would say to Ms Tucker that I sat at breakfast on Wednesday with 500 members of the community, and I have to say that there was no lack of confidence there. There was praise, there was delight at a prospective surplus and there was great pleasure in the fact that this Government is not distracted by the things that are thrown up by the Opposition but gets on with delivering good government and good economic outcomes so that ultimately we can deliver social justice for all Canberrans. That is what this is about today, Mr Speaker.

Mr Rugendyke has said several times that he is disappointed with the way and the manner in which issues of no confidence, censure and grave concern are raised in this place. Mr Rugendyke has said to me several times - and I do not think David would mind if I raise this - that these are serious matters and they should be raised over serious issues. What we have here is nothing short of a smokescreen. Mr Speaker, let us make no bones about this. This motion is about leadership and it is about judgment. It is not about Mr Humphries. It is really about the total and utter lack of leadership and poor judgment displayed by Mr Stanhope. If Mr Stanhope had concerns over this issue, you would think that, reasonably, he would have approached the Attorney-General and asked him for clarification of these issues. Instead, what we see is this - - -

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Could I suggest that Mr Smyth merely read Mr Moore's speech again rather than trying to do it as though it is original?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Kaine. You are aware of that.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I would be delighted to read Mr Moore's speech again, if he wants to hand it over, but I have my own speech and I will deliver it in my own way. The motion talks about meeting your responsibilities. To meet your responsibilities, you must show judgment and you must show leadership. We have not seen either of these from the Leader of the Opposition today. What this means is that either Mr Stanhope is incapable of being the Leader of the Opposition or, if the conspiracy theories are true, he is being set up by members of his own caucus.

Just two days after a budget that announced that we are 12 months away from an operating surplus, the best that Mr Stanhope can do on his most important day of the year is throw up a smokescreen simply to talk about failure to meet responsibility.

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The motion specifically refers to the Attorney-General, lack of confidence in the Attorney-General and his failure to meet his responsibilities as first law officer. Mr Smyth has now been on his feet for five minutes. I am yet to hear him mention the name of the Attorney-General. Indeed, all that he has spoken of is the Leader of the Opposition. I suggest that, on the grounds of relevance, Mr Speaker, he is quite out of order.

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