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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1161 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

There are some exceptions. The exceptions are if it is on residential land in a period between Sunday nine days before the Queen's Birthday and the Queen's Birthday, if the activity is authorised by the Chief Fire Control Officer or the Fire Commissioner, or if the activity would otherwise be illegal except for the act.

It would seem that Mr Corbell, a man who hopes to become the minister for the environment one day, is not aware of these regulations. Yesterday Mr Corbell conducted a stunt by burning a copy of ACTCode 2 outside this place, and it was shown on WIN news last night. I understand that he did not have permission from the Fire Commissioner.

It is a bit of a worry that the shadow environment minister is not aware of the provisions of an act that he hopes to be in charge of one day. More disturbing is that Mr Corbell hopes to be the planning minister one day. It is a shame that he is contemptuous of the work of the PALM staff who put three years of hard activity and community consultation into that document.

I thought book burning had gone out of vogue; that only dictatorships like those in former communist regimes or the Nazi Party undertook them. But it seems that the ACT ALP want to get into it. If Mr Stanhope had any real leadership, he would call Mr Corbell into his office and discipline him on this matter and ask him to apologise to both the environment and PALM staff.

Assembly/executive-separation of powers

MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister. It follows on from the response of the minister for health in trying to upstage Peter Reith's right-wing legislation. Michael Moore was trying to upstage somebody. Mr Moore informed us that cabinet decided that they were going to ignore any anticipated motion if it were passed. I heard Mr Moore say in this Assembly, if I can paraphrase, "I do not care if they pass this. We are not going to do it." I saw Mr Humphries nodding in agreement. Mr Humphries, do you consider cabinet's decision, which we were just informed about by Mr Moore, a contempt of the Assembly? Do you accept that it is appropriate for a government to hold this Assembly in contempt?

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not consider it appropriate for a government to hold an Assembly in contempt, but I also do not believe that the decision which the minister for health has just announced constitutes holding the Assembly in contempt. Mr Berry, as I indicated at the time of the motion being debated, the language you used was quite unspecific and quite unusual by the standards of this house. You know full well that if you wish to compel the government you have a very simple course of action open to you to do that. You will be able to do that if you want to. If you do so, you will be setting a precedent, which I had the feeling you were anxious not to do when you passed that motion on Tuesday.

Mr Berry: No, I am not at all worried about it. I am prepared to do it.

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