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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2965 ..

Mr Berry: I think in the cases you have ruled on you have ruled that the accusation was made in the body of the question. This is merely a question, and the Chief Minister is quite entitled to deny it and that is the end of the matter.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, if that is the question, then the answer is no.

Mr Kaine: The answer is not no. That is the answer that the Chief Minister is going to give.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, please. The answer has been given, Mr Kaine. If you wish to ask a supplementary question, proceed. But the fact is that the answer has been given.

Mr Humphries: Mr Kaine has just said that the answer is not no, which means he is not only asking the questions; he is now making an allegation and therefore he should withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: I find it difficult to imagine how Mr Kaine or anybody else could assume that that is not the answer, if the Chief Minister has answered no.

MR KAINE: What I am saying is that question time in this place has become a travesty, but my supplementary question is to the Chief Minister.

Mr Humphries: I have to press my point of order. Mr Kaine has asked a question in which he alleged that there was deliberate misleading of the Assembly. He then confirmed, in response to the Chief Minister's answer, that the answer she gave that she had not misled the Assembly was untrue. To say that it is untrue is directly to say that it is true that she misled the Assembly. I also point out that standing order 117(b)(iv) makes it clear that imputations are not appropriate within a question. The imputation should be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, the answer is given.

MR KAINE: All I am saying is that I believe it to be untrue.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, I am sure that lots of us would listen to answers to questions and I guess most members, certainly on the Opposition side, would have doubts about some of the answers given from time to time, but that is not relevant.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, my supplementary question is to the Chief Minister. Have you - - -

Ms Carnell: Has there been a withdrawal?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine, I think I heard you withdraw, did I not? You said that that was the way you thought.

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