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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1074 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Then we have an expression of concern in the motion regarding support for commercial development in a location which is contrary to the principles of the Territory Plan. For goodness sake, the Territory Plan does not govern the land around the airport; the National Capital Plan does. This land, as far as I can tell, is entirely within the terms of the National Capital Plan. What is the point of referring to the Territory Plan? You might as well point out that it breaches the Code Napoleon. What is the relevance of it to this particular application?

The third ground for this motion is that it expresses concern regarding "the possible failure"-not just the failure, but the possible failure; the lack of confidence in the grounds for this motion is expressed in the terms of the motion-"of the Corporation's Board to comply clearly with the requirements of clause 15"-I assume Ms Tucker means section 15-"of the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation Act 1997 'Disclosure of Interest'".

In answer to that, an opinion has been tabled from one of the most respected firms of lawyers in Canberra. I do not know Mr Parkinson very well-in fact, I do not know him at all-but one of the two lawyers here is highly regarded in the ACT scene. I am sorry, what Mr Stanhope said was an inference that the positions that these lawyers hold elsewhere in government might cause them to give different advice from the one they would give if they were not in those positions. That was the clear inference of what Mr Stanhope was saying, whether he cares to admit it or not.

I have to say very clearly on the record that Mr Miller, whom I know, is a highly distinguished lawyer in this town, a former president of the Law Society and the author of a large number of books-in fact, the leading Australian author on trade practices in this country; not just in Canberra, but in the whole country. The slur on them from Mr Stanhope was quite unacceptable.

But even if you put that to one side in some way, we have a motion that refers to a possible failure to meet the requirements of section 15 of the act and clear advice to the board that there was no breach of section 15 of the act. Mr Stanhope says, "I could produce, I am sure, advice to the contrary on this," but he has not done so. He has not produced contrary advice, yet he says, "Throw away Mr Miller's advice. I might be able to get advice which is better if I went off and looked for it, but I have not done so." For goodness sake, Mr Speaker: is this the Legislative Assembly for the ACT or a latter day version of the Star Chamber? Where is the evidence? Where is the advice? I have to say, Mr Speaker, that this is very unfortunate.

Mr Berry says that Mr Smyth should be censured because he has misled the house, because Mr Smyth told the house that he was going to do something in the future and did not do it. I might point out at this point that motions of censure in the past on misleading the house, all that I can recall in this place, have relied on something which has happened in the past on which a minister has reported, supposedly inaccurately, to the house.

This is a new creature. This is where a minister says that he is going to do something in the future and is accused of misleading the house because he does not, in fact, do that in the future. That is very dangerous ground to be getting into because, Mr Speaker, there are all sorts of reasons why what a person says they are going to do in the future might not be done. In this case, Mr Smyth has actually written to members explaining the

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