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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1491 ..

Mr Kaine: Have you spoken to the Bender family? I suggest you do.

Mr Berry: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. I wonder whether Mr Rugendyke's choice of words that this debate was a charade might be a reflection on him.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR RUGENDYKE: The Bender family are continually having their tragedy traipsed out in public view and in this forum here. That is totally inappropriate. We read in the paper this morning that there was to be a vote of no confidence in the Attorney-General. No-one came and spoke about it yesterday or today. The first we knew of it was when it appeared in the Canberra Times. It really took me only two speeches to make up my mind about the destiny of this vote of no confidence. Mr Berry mentioned in his speech that he thought there was something fishy. The only thing that smells is the smelly box of whatever it is that Mr Stanhope picked up off the footpath and brought into this chamber without even opening it to find out what was in it. That is the only fishy bit in this debate.

It is clear to me, through the various speakers in this debate, that Mr Humphries has not been responsible for anything sinister in this incident. Mr Stanhope in his speech suggested - it was only a suggestion - that the Minister acted inappropriately. Mr Stanhope, you need a lot more than a suggestion to support the motion that you have put on the table today.

I think I said in speaking to the first censure motion that I was involved in in this place that I thought there was a need to set the bar fairly high. Having come from the police force, I know that the standard of evidence in a court is proof beyond reasonable doubt. This is my first motion of no confidence, so the bar needs to be set quite high. In fact, my analogy is that the bar should be of the pole vaulting style, one which Emma George, our world champion pole vaulter, ought to be able to jump over. That is the standard of proof that I require in this case. That is my bar. Mr Stanhope's speech got us to three or four feet. With every speech after that, the bar went lower. It is now below ground level. If I had left the bar on the ground, this Opposition would not have been able to get over it.

This is a totally frivolous, vexatious, nonsensical motion put forward today, on a day that should be the Leader of the Opposition's biggest day of the year, when he has the chance to bag the Government for their budget, but what has he wasted it on? This nonsense.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

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