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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2937 ..

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care)(11.27): Mr Wood was inaccurate when he suggested that I would stand up and oppose this censure motion. I will continue to do what I have done from the early stages of this Assembly and that is be fair. You know that when you were in government, Bill Wood, - through you, Mr Speaker - there were many occasions when I opposed censure motions.

Mr Wood: I remember the one against me.

MR MOORE: I believe I put the one you refer to. Mr Wood, I believe that when I explain a couple of things to you you will feel that you will need to oppose this censure motion now. Whether your caucus colleagues will allow you to do that is another question. What you just emphasised was the precautionary principle. You said that this Minister should have acted immediately, as you did in relation to the contaminated sites; what he should have done was take immediate action. In fact, there was immediate action taken.

As the Minister explained to you in his speech earlier, Mr Wood, when the site was identified as having something peculiar about it, material was sent off to be tested. It was agreed by all parties - there was no dictation - that first of all they would await the initial results. Secondly, it was agreed that there would be no further material come into the tip. That was immediate action. Thirdly, the material would not be handled. That was immediate action. Exactly the same issue - - -

Mr Corbell: That is not right, Mr Moore. From 1 September until 24 September they continued to accept waste. You do not know what you are talking about. You had better correct the record.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Moore has the floor.

Mr Smyth: They did keep receiving material.

MR MOORE: Mr Smyth indicates to me that in fact more material was received. I accept that.

Mr Corbell: You want us to forget about that argument.

Mr Wood: Sit down and start again.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please!

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I think it is also important to listen to what Mr Wood suggested about Mr Smyth being careless and loose with words. This is just semantics. Now, how careful does somebody have to be with words? Remember, lawyers sit down with contracts worth millions and millions of dollars. They spend weeks and weeks being very, very careful with words. Other lawyers then unpick them. We do exactly the same in here. We use words in the best way we can. The question is: Was there an intent by Mr Smyth to mislead the public? Of course, there was not.

Mr Berry: What about if it was just reckless?

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