Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1467 ..

MR SPEAKER: I am sure that Mr Smyth is coming to relevance and I am sure that that will not be very long, but it is also a fairly wide-ranging debate.

Mr Corbell: It is, Mr Speaker, but some level of relevance is important.

MR SPEAKER: Other people have discussed Ministers for Health in the past and the like. I do not uphold the point of order. Continue, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, this is at the heart of it. This is what this motion is about. This motion has the word "responsibility" in it. It is about the responsibility of the Attorney-General. But it is about the responsibility of those that bring forward this motion of no confidence, the most serious motion that can be brought to this place, and why they would do that. In light of what Mr Humphries has said, in light of what Mr Humphries has made quite clear, what Mr Stanhope should do before he does what he is meant to do at 3 o'clock in announcing the alternative budget, which I am sure will fill us all with great enthusiasm, is stand up and apologise to the Attorney-General. He should withdraw this motion. He should stand up and apologise to the young lady we are calling Ms X for this appalling motion.

What we have here is the great civil libertarian, the one who always raises civil liberties as one of the driving forces in his life, abusing the entire civil liberties process. Did he go to Mr Humphries and ask for clarification? No, he did not. Did he at least have the courtesy to tell Mr Humphries at some stage that he would run this? No, he did not. We heard from Ms Tucker about process. Where is the process in this? We read about this in the paper this morning. Mr Speaker, I think Mr Osborne hit the nail on the head. I think Mr Osborne got this one 100 per cent right. Why is this a public issue today? That is the real question here.

Mr Humphries, in his responsibility as the first law officer of the Territory and as Attorney-General, followed the process. He had a concern. Whether you accept that concern or not and whether you want to say that it is a major, minor, trivial or whatever concern, he had a concern that he, as first law officer, felt he should follow through, and he did. What did he do? He followed the process. What is the process? Go to the Law Society. How do you let it be handled? You let it be handled by the Law Society in its own way. You do not judge people in the media. Those who purport to represent civil liberties and social justice want to have kangaroo courts in the Canberra Times.

We go to the Canberra Times and we put Mr Humphries, and an officer of his department who acts as a DLO, on trial in the media. Then we come here full of indignation - mock indignation, I suspect, because we did not reveal this. Mr Humphries, in keeping with the process, did exactly what he should do. He went to the Law Society. Who has the letters? Only the Law Society would have both letters, or only Mr Collaery's office would have both letters. So either Mr Collaery or the Law Society must answer who released the letters. Mr Humphries did not. He could not. He did not have those letters.

Who is running the public trial here? Who is running the kangaroo court? What is this motion of no confidence about? This motion of no confidence is nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the inadequacies of the Labor Party. It is really curious that every

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .