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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3202 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

There is plenty of time for him to do his work if it is that important, but we know that you get nothing from "Gunna" Stanhope. He spends all his time with his back to the Speaker watching Wayne and Ted. He is probably more worried about what Wayne and Ted are up to. This is just a joke. It may be due to incompetence. Maybe we could get for him a guide to chairing meetings. Perhaps that would be a good idea. The other thing is about setting time lines. Perhaps we could teach him how to use Access or Excel or something else to come up with a project, maybe even to come up with - - -

Mr Stanhope: How is the eviction going, Brendan?

MR SMYTH: This is it: We will not answer the substantive. We will go to other things and we will just joke about what the Government has been doing.

Mr Stanhope: Evicting people is not substantive, is it?

MR SMYTH: You said that this was substantive, Mr Stanhope. You said that this was important. You said that this was powerful. You were going to get to the bottom of it. You have got to turn a stone before you can get anywhere, sport. You have to get on with it, Mr "Gunna" Stanhope, because that is what you have turned into.

Mr Stanhope: There are a few stones being turned, mate.

MR SMYTH: Stones are gunna be turned! There we are, Mr Speaker, "We are gunna turn stones". "Gunna" Stanhope! I think that it is just due to incompetence, Mr Speaker. I do not think that he is capable of doing this inquiry. I do not think that we will get anything further from it. I think it should be made to answer by the end of November. I truly believe that, if it is as important as he portrayed, he should report at the end of November, as originally intended. If Mr Rugendyke thinks that we should give him some time, to March, so be it; but the important thing here is that "Gunna" Stanhope has taken money for work that he has not done.

MR KAINE (5.47): Mr Speaker, I must say that, putting it mildly, I am concerned about the tone and the tenor of this debate. There seems to be a difference of opinion about whether we need the select committee. The fact is that the Assembly established the committee. When the Assembly established that committee, presumably it thought that there was a job to be done. Whether the job has been done or not is a matter to take up with the chairman and I do not think that some of the debate that has taken place here over the last hour has been very productive. It brings this place into disrepute, in my view.

But the question still remains: Does this committee have a job to do? I believe that it does and I think everybody else in this place believes that it does. What on earth, then, is the point of putting on it an artificial target within which it cannot complete the job? If you think about it sensibly, all of January and half of February will be out for everybody because we will be looking at the budget. How, then, can this committee get together its members, Mr Osborne and Mr Cornwell, outside of all of their other existing commitments and other commitments arising from their membership of this place and do the job between now and the end of March?

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