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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1486 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

The point that I am making here is that she has admitted it in her supplementary statement of 6 May, which says:

I may have said that I work in Gary Humphries office in conversation.

The point here is that people will believe that you are speaking with that authority. It is the natural thing, because it is a very big thing. What I am suggesting - and I have been there myself - is that you make sure that that impression is not carried. Have a look at point 5. It says:

At no time when X came with Y did she say she was representing the congress.

The congress was the most important organisation to give them that support. You would think the natural thing would be to claim to be representing them. But she did not do it. What I am suggesting here is that there is Executive responsibility for this thing. Whether it is deliberate or whether it is inappropriate does not matter. There is an Executive responsibility for it. I do not accept that you can just say, "Well, that is just bad luck". The thing that made me absolutely committed to this Executive responsibility was that at no time during Mr Humphries' speech here did he say, "I am sorry that there may have been a misunderstanding". He just ducked and weaved, and he used smoke and mirrors. What has ensued out of that is that he has successfully brought the smokescreen down. We have debated this all day.

We have upset the Benders in the first instance, and I believe that we all ought to accept responsibility for that. But they have upset them so much that Ms Anna Bender has put in a supplementary statutory declaration defending her family and supporting the position. I think this is a very serious thing. It really upsets me to have to be here at the moment. I must admit that I am going to vote for this motion on the basis of Executive responsibility, which I believe this Attorney-General ought to accept.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

MR CORBELL (4.09): I rise to support the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope. Mr Stanhope's presentation this morning made the Labor Party's position clear. We have heard during the duration of this debate invective and condemnation from the other side of the chamber and from members of the crossbenches, who still maintain that they are making up their minds. The decision made by the Labor Opposition today in moving this motion was not taken lightly, nor was it taken - - -

Mr Rugendyke: It was taken stupidly.

MR CORBELL: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I ask you to maintain some decorum in this debate in the same way that your predecessor did earlier in the day.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: I certainly will. I inform the house that Mr Corbell has the call. Any interjections are highly disorderly.

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