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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2949 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

Add the following words:

"(3) And omit from paragraph (2) the words 'assure the Assembly that the recent events at the Landfill will not occur again by providing' and substitute the word 'provide'.".

Mr Speaker, that phrase, "assure the Assembly that the recent events at the Landfill will not occur again", adds nothing. What is it that we are supposed to call on the Minister to assure this Assembly of? Is he supposed to assure us that ducks will not drown in oil, that black stuff will not seep out of the side of the hill, or that the dam will not overflow in rain? Those are several things that Ms Tucker mentioned, but there is no reference to them in the original motion that I can see. Or is it that he must assure us that toxic substances will not be dumped at the landfill by unscrupulous operators? Mr Speaker, my amendment seeks to make sense of Mr Kaine's sensible amendments.

Mr Kaine: I thought they were pretty sensible to begin with.

MR RUGENDYKE: They were. I agree. Mr Speaker, the Minister has told us that he will be negotiating with that errant company to take their waste elsewhere. So, all that remains to be said is this: Get the floc out of here and let us get on with business.

MR BERRY (12.14): Mr Rugendyke's contribution to the debate may well have been humorous at the end, but it did not pay attention to the issue which really is at the core of this motion, and that is the misleading nature of the Minister's statements to the community. You cannot forget, Mr Rugendyke, that there has been a pattern of misleading remarks and claims by this Minister. You may well have forgotten an attempt to censure Mr Smyth some time ago. I think it was in March 1999. There was one in September 1998 in relation to misleading statements that the Minister had made. On one occasion the Minister apologised for misleading the Assembly. I think that was on the first occasion, and the censure motion was eventually withdrawn. Subsequently, the Minister was found guilty of misleading this Assembly and he even voted for a motion of grave concern about his own ability. So we have here a pattern of misleading this Assembly. It is not a pattern which should be ignored.

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

MR SPEAKER: Yes, it had to come, did it not?

Ms Carnell: Yes.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw it.

MR BERRY: Withdraw what?

MR SPEAKER: Look, the motion is in relation to this particular topic. It is in relation to metal floc at the Belconnen landfill. It is not a general attack on the Minister, and your suggestion is that he is constantly misleading the Assembly.

Ms Carnell: The motion does not say anything about misleading the Assembly.

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