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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1479 ..

Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. During Mr Smyth's speech I heard him say that the people in trouble as a result of this inquiry, referring to the coronial inquiry, are the occupational health and safety inspectors. Clearly, that prejudices the matter which is before the coroner and it ought to be drawn to his attention that that is completely unacceptable.

MR SMYTH: Mr Berry should listen closely because I did not say that.

MR SPEAKER: Just sit down. If it was stated then I would have to ask that it be withdrawn. If you say you did not say it, so be it.

MR SMYTH: Again, Mr Speaker, here we have the classic interruption. You spoil the flow, try to break it up, but you cannot escape the smokescreen that this motion is. This motion should not be supported by the Assembly because it is a joke. It is a joke because it simply shows that Mr Stanhope stands for nothing.

MR WOOD (3.36): Mr Speaker, I am one of those members in this place who have been here from day one, 10 years next week. In that time we have seen some remarkable events, and this ranks with the greatest, or worst, if you like, of those. It is interesting that one of those momentous events was the fall of the Alliance Government. There is no question about that, and that has been revisited so often today. It is more than a coincidence.

Earlier on Mr Humphries, as is his wont, was dissembling, and he was claiming that numbers of us had said some harsh things about Mr Collaery. I would regard Mr Collaery as a friend. I do not see him very often. I see him around at functions, as you do. I do not recall ever challenging Mr Collaery's competence as a lawyer. I did have some harsh things to say on the day of the downfall of the Alliance Government, I recall. I have not been back to the Hansard to check that out, but I had the highest respect for Mr Collaery as a dedicated professional lawyer, one with the deep interests of his clients and of the community at large in all his intentions. Mr Humphries sought to suggest otherwise, although I acknowledge he withdrew any comment in respect of me.

From start to finish in this sorry implosion saga, the ACT Attorney has been seen to be biased, prejudiced and perhaps vindictive in his behaviour as the first law officer of the Territory, and we have seen that again today. He has displayed none of the objective, impartial role required of him, and he has revealed how poor and how ill-based is his judgment. I believe that Mr Humphries has forfeited the right to the position of ACT Attorney-General.

His behaviour has been revealed in the documents Mr Kaine tabled yesterday and further documents brought out today. At the very beginning of the implosion inquiry process it seems he resisted the involvement of Mr Collaery. It is clear that his antipathy to Mr Collaery goes back well beyond the implosion. No doubt it goes back to those unhappy days of the fall of the Alliance Government. That has been made even clearer today. With his body language, with his asides and with the words that he has said, he has continued to show his antipathy to Mr Collaery - antipathy which I believe caused him to write a letter of complaint to the Law Society. He has given an opinion in this

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