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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2727 ..

MR SPEAKER: I am amazed as well that members of this place who purport to represent the electorate cannot be bothered to turn up to a debate on a censure motion. Mr Smyth, I believe you were wishing to speak in the debate.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (7.31): Mr Speaker, this is a serious matter. Both the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition have lied-one in denial of his words; the other in covering up by offering an alibi. They have been offered the opportunity to apologise and withdraw, and they have not.

Mr Stanhope: When? That's a lie.

Mr Quinlan: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am not sure, so I need your guidance. Is it permissible for Mr Smyth-

Mr Stanhope: Well we will get up-

MR SPEAKER: Excuse me. Mr Stanhope, would you mind being quiet.

Mr Quinlan: In the context of the motion, is it parliamentary for Mr Smyth to say in this place that we have lied?

MR SPEAKER: No. Let me just explain-

Mr Quinlan: I am asking.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Let me just explain the situation please, Mr Quinlan. The censure motion is in fact about somebody. The Speaker will not involve himself in somebody misleading or lying to the Assembly.

Mr Berry: No, it's not.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, Mr Berry. Would you sit down. This is what we are talking-

Mr Berry: No, we're not.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan, this is a debate. There is going to be a lot of criticism across the chamber about this issue, but unfortunately the censure motion relates to the fact that somebody was not honest in their comments.

Mr Berry: It doesn't say "lie".

MR SPEAKER: I do not want to argue semantics, thank you very much. I want this matter resolved as soon as possible. We have a great deal of work to do tonight and perhaps tomorrow morning. I am sure that the electorates we represent would prefer us to get on with the legislation that is before us. I accept the point of the Assembly that this is an important matter that needs to be debated. May I suggest that we get on with it.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: I agree with you, Mr Speaker.

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