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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2091 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

who try to step around financial laws in the ACT in these political circumstances. After we have demonstrated that we cannot carry the load here in the chamber, the courts then would have the responsibility. So don't you stand up in this place and try to recraft history again by saying that we have not offered a solution. We have told you what we intend to consider doing. So, Mr Speaker, it needs to be made clear that the circumstances are quite different. The judiciary have discovered a problem with their administration and they are going to fix it. They have put forward a proposal.

Ms Carnell: They misinterpreted the law. They broke the law.

MR BERRY: Now Mrs Carnell, it appears, is claiming that she misinterpreted the law. She is claiming that she misinterpreted it, or is she claiming that a public servant misinterpreted the law? The list of excuses will be as long as your arm by the end of this day. When I sit down after my discussion of this issue you can back it in that Mr Humphries will get up and come up with another list of excuses or another list of shady comparisons which would cast a shadow over our attempt to find this Chief Minister guilty of unlawful behaviour and, of course, throw her out. She said at the outset, Mr Deputy Chief Minister, that she was the one responsible. The first words from the Chief Minister were: "I wear the responsibility from this". Mind you, from that point onwards, the Volkswagen was in reverse gear. She back-pedalled from that point onwards until it then became the problem of the public servants, Mr Speaker.

No, the Chief Minister was right in the first place to take responsibility for the political actions which had intent, motive and advantages. All of those issues were satisfied in the debate earlier this week. To try to draw a comparison between the reprehensible behaviour of the Chief Minister and her Government in relation to this matter and the behaviour of the magistracy is absolutely outrageous. How dare you cast that slur on the courts.

Mr Humphries: It is precisely the same thing, Wayne.

MR BERRY: You call yourself the Attorney-General. You are a disgrace. The fact of the matter is that the courts, as I understand it, discovered that there was a flaw in the application of the law in respect of restraining orders. Mr Speaker, that is not about the financial management of the Territory. That is not about the 300-year-old tradition of financial responsibility of the executive arm of government, and breaches of it and secretive actions which were taken in the political context by this Government. All of these things are avoided in the Attorney's attempt to draw some comparison between this issue that we are now debating and the Chief Minister's reprehensible behaviour in the past. She was found guilty of reprehensible behaviour when she was censured.

Ms Carnell: Not for reprehensible behaviour.

MR BERRY: I am afraid - - -

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order.

MR BERRY: Go and get yourself - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! Sit down.

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