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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2090 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

about the Chief Minister in respect of the debate on Wednesday of this week - that she had engaged in gross misconduct. Now, when is gross misconduct not gross misconduct, Mr Speaker? Apparently when it is committed by - - -

Ms Carnell: Me.

MR HUMPHRIES: No. Apparently when it is committed by people other than the Chief Minister it is not gross misconduct. When it is committed by somebody who is in the political sights it is gross misconduct. Mr Speaker, members in this place choose to ignore this important comparison. They choose to bury their heads in their papers and pretend that this is an issue that will be going away. Well, Mr Speaker, it will not be going away. There is the grossest and the most tangible hypocrisy at work here. Members who were so anxious to state the principle that people should be held to account in these matters are now quite happy to pretend and just sort of get on with business. They say, "What is the next item on the program? Let us get on with things. This is all very embarrassing. Let us go". Mr Speaker, I have to say, though, that I do not think this is a matter we can lightly gloss over. It is a matter I will be taking further after today's debate.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again on this matter.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I was going to raise a point of order earlier about the relevance of this, but I thought I would rather let the Deputy Chief Minister dig a bit of a hole for himself in order that he can be straightened out on a couple of issues. Listen up, Mr Deputy Chief Minister. The fact of the matter is that these are entirely different issues. Whilst the courts have discovered that there has been some failing in their administration of law within the magistracy, and the executive arm of government has discovered a way whereby it can fix it, the legislature is now about to fix it. The position of the Chief Minister was entirely different.

Mr Humphries: Why?

MR BERRY: There was a motive to keep it secret.

Mr Humphries: You have not established that.

MR BERRY: That was clearly demonstrated. There was a motive to keep it secret. It was clearly demonstrated that there was an advantage in keeping it secret. It was clearly identified that there was an advantage in keeping it secret. Nobody can deny that. There was an intent to have different arrangements in place in relation to Bruce Stadium. There was an intent, so it was quite clear that the Chief Minister took political risks when she moved to deal with these matters.

The other important point that you tend to gloss over - I hope Mr Rugendyke is listening to this - is that I announced yesterday a method which we will be considering to fix the problem which has been created by the failure of this chamber to live up to its responsibilities in relation to the unlawful behaviour of the Chief Minister. I announced yesterday that we would be considering the application of criminal sanctions for people

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