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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1830 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

tactics in this Assembly. (Extension of time granted) He has brought with him to this Assembly his experience as a staffer in the Keating Government and has applied the worst type of New South Wales right-wing Labor politicking here to our Assembly.

Sadly, this affair has tempted other members to become involved in political intrigue. Ms Tucker seeks a change of government, as we are all aware. Mr Kaine's unworthy motivations are also perfectly well known to each and every one of us. The less partisan of the crossbench members - Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke - have been invited to explore whether they can use this occasion to see the Liberal leader replaced by another Liberal more to their liking. They have been tempted to participate in intrigues that end in short-term advantage for the benefit of the few, at the cost of the interest of the whole Assembly and the community it serves. Such internal intrigues have been a sad feature of the Assembly in the past. They utterly ruined the First Assembly. Members, they diminish and demean all who participate in it.

To their immense and permanent credit, Mr Humphries, Mr Smyth and their Liberal colleagues have utterly rejected participating in all the intrigues which the situation presents. From such shabby arrangements, stability, authority and good government cannot possibly arise. They have displayed the higher ethics of a mature political party - loyalty, integrity, honour. They have stood by their leader for the best of all possible reasons - a genuine sense of justice. They stand by her faithfully at the risk of the Government, at the risk of their ministries, because she has done absolutely nothing wrong. That is the same reason that I stand by her.

I sincerely hope that Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke will have the strength to stay above such low politics. Indeed, Mr Osborne, despite a few harsh public comments which I would not support, has had the sense of fairness to announce that this current motion is unsupportable. Although he reserves his position for the future, we await the announcement of Mr Rugendyke's position, and in more ways than one the fate of the Assembly depends on it being the right one.

The sentiments of eight members who have declared themselves against Kate Carnell are utterly unworthy. They diminish this Assembly. They damage the future success not merely of Mrs Carnell but of all of us. They invite the destruction of public credibility. They invite the destruction of a vibrant crossbench. They present the spectre of future majority governments and the lack of public accountability which would follow.

Mr Hargreaves raised the issue of "beyond reasonable doubt" when he was speaking. Quite right. But even if it was the balance of probability that we were looking at, there is still not enough evidence, because it is about intent. It is about the intent of somebody to break the law. The former public prosecutor Mr Stefaniak described what is meant by intent. The only argument, you could say, is that there were three legal opinions that provided the evidence. But those three legal opinions - Mr Hargreaves referred to them as one being the defence, one being the prosecutor and one being counsel assisting, which was just another misrepresentation - were selectively quoted from, to take just one side of the view, as we have now come to expect.

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