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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2052 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

The government could have identified the fact that the government was $344 million in the red when we took over. But it did not. Opposition members cannot deny that that was the case. They have had a lot to say over the years about Auditor-General reports, particularly the reports in respect of Bruce. But they cannot and will not come to grips with the fact that the Auditor-General has identified that they were $344 million in the red. I will say no more.

MR QUINLAN (3.53): Mr Speaker, I was serious when I interjected across the house, "Why don't you shut up, Harold." I could have put that a bit better. I was not going to refer to this, Harold, but I am going to say it once: since I have been in this place this is the second select committee of which I have been the chair and you have been a member. It is the second committee to which you have made the absolute minimum of contribution. It is the second committee where you have deliberately absented yourself from deliberative meetings. It is the second committee where you have produced a dissenting report which, as you have claimed twice, was produced under your own hand-a claim which is very difficult to accept.

For Mr Humphries to come into this place and use-

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: in accordance with standing order 55, which covers personal reflections, I think Mr Quinlan should be a bit more careful with his words.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you suggesting that this is a personal reflection on Mr Hird?

Mr Smyth: On Mr Hird.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is perhaps a matter for Mr Hird to raise. But take note of that, Mr Quinlan.

MR QUINLAN: I do take note of that, and I withdraw it to the minimum extent to which I can get away with it. In his response, Mr Humphries talked about the voices of reason. I am presuming that those voices of reason were Mr Hird and Mrs Burke.

Mr Moore: I don't think you can make that presumption.

Ms Tucker: It sure wasn't anyone else, according to Mr Humphries.

MR QUINLAN: I am making wild assumptions. Mr Humphries immediately followed that by saying that members were forced to produce a separate dissenting report. At meetings those members were asked for their contribution. They were circularised by the secretary requesting their contribution. In fact, because you lot have form, I went out of my way to ensure that you got email requests through the secretariat because it did not take much imagination to realise that we would arrive at precisely the point we have reached. So I did go out of my way to do that.

The claim was made that "the chairman came and announced his prejudices". I will tell you what I said. I said, "You lot are not going to like what I write. Why don't you write some of your own stuff for inclusion in the report?" That is what I said-no more than

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