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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 925 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

I would also like to say that I was surprised by the questioner's attitude when I tabled the report in this place. He seemed to find offence and indicated that we had nothing new to offer. Yet he had not had a look at the 25 recommendations, and indeed had not read the report, because it had only just been tabled. I do not believe that the writer of the letter which Mr Kaine refers to understood, or indeed had any comprehension of, the fact that the government and people who live in Gungahlin had taken into consideration the requests by the people of Save the Ridge. Certainly my committee undertook to do it, and we did. If you read the report, Mr Kaine, you will see that we did. To say that my committee did not, I find most offensive. I am surprised that you, as the elder statesman of this place, should pick up a piece of paper you received today and make these wild accusations without informing yourself.

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Hird is making absolutely no attempt at answering the questions that were asked. Very specific questions were asked, and Mr Hird has made absolutely no attempt at answering any of the specific questions that were asked. I would ask you to call him to order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold your point of order to an extent. He answered some of the questions earlier, but he then drifted into what appeared to be a personal attack on Mr Kaine. I would ask you to come back to the subject, Mr Hird, please.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I apologise if the inference was that it was a personal attack on the member asking the question. It was not intended to be a personal attack. It is a matter of fact that Mr Kaine made certain accusations in respect of my committee's report.

I will go back to the question asked by Mr Kaine. We will analyse the aspects raised by the writer of the letter, than we will make certain arrangements. At this point, I will have to discuss with Mr Rugendyke and Mr Corbell what action, if any, will be taken. I still find it very interesting that in respect of a letter I received today-and I assume Mr Kaine did-Mr Kaine should go on the offensive as he did when I tabled the report.

MR KAINE: I ask a supplementary question. Incidentally, Mr Speaker, I received this letter on 22 March, not today. Given Mr Hird's refusal to answer the specific questions, I ask him another specific question. Mr Hird, will you undertake to respond directly to the 10 questions posed to you in this letter and respond to the Save the Ridge group accordingly?

MR HIRD: I cannot. Mr Kaine always blocks out that part when he turns his hearing aid down-

MR SPEAKER: Order! That is enough.

MR HIRD: I indicated to Mr Kaine that I would have to take advice from Mr Corbell and Mr Rugendyke. He knows that. He has been a member of a committee, and he knows that I cannot answer those 10 questions personally. He is deliberately trying to put down a fine report.

Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the letter and to have it incorporated in Hansard.

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