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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3187 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

I want that on the record because I am a bit concerned that the commission seems to be taking Mr Rugendyke's word for whether or not this is going to work. Clearly, Mr Rugendyke is not an expert, and the commission needs to be taking responsibility for deciding whether or not this is effective.

Despite having said that the letter from the commission is slightly contradictory, I am still prepared to support the bill if Mr Humphries gives us a commitment to ask the commission to do whatever it can to evaluate the value of this initiative. I also want to put on the record that if that evaluation does not show that there is any benefit or if it is impossible for the evaluation to be done properly, I am prepared, if I am re-elected, to reconsider this matter in the next Assembly .

MR HARGREAVES (4.39): Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to debunk some of the stuff that the Chief Minister has put to us. He keeps trotting out this hoary little chestnut that the Labor Party has a conflict of interest. I find that absolutely insulting. The assumption is that if an organisation gets a benefit from a particular area of the community then individuals within that organisation who do not receive a specific or real benefit are debarred from considering what may or may not be an adverse effect on the community in which they live and move. That is an appalling position to take, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is something for which the Chief Minister should be condemned.

I am happy for people to know just how much money I get from the clubs. I got $300 in the last election. So far in this election campaign, as you well know, Mr Deputy Speaker-we have been at it for a little while now-I have got not one red cent.

People would know that we have a Hare-Clark electoral system. Each candidate has to fund their own campaign. Some members here receive benefit in real time from the clubs. We do not. Certainly the organisation does, but no more or less so than the Liberal Party receives support from business and no more or less so than some of the crossbenchers receive support from the clubs. I am sure that in previous elections people like Mr Moore and Ms Tucker have globally had assistance in their campaigns. I would not deny them that assistance for a minute. But I do not stand up here and say that because they received assistance they cannot vote on an exercise or an issue which may have a detrimental effect on a member of the community or a group in the community. So I take exception to the Chief Minister's remarks.

Mr Berry: I don't know why you even bother talking about it.

MR HARGREAVES: I think what he said is absolute rot. My colleague Mr Berry says why even bother. He has a good point because this has now become a mantra. For these people, who dream about what is in their lunchbox, it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Well, this is not the case in the real world.

Mr Berry: It's okay for Harold but not for anybody else.

MR HARGREAVES: That is right. People on the other side of the chamber seem to be excluded from the criticisms of Mr Rugendyke. It is very convenient for Mr Rugendyke to stand up here and scream "conflict of interest" at the Labor Party, but sitting next to him is a person who has received exactly the same sort of benefit that I have. There are members on the opposite side of the chamber to me who have received exactly the same benefit. Do I hear the charge of conflict of interest being directed at them? No, Mr Deputy Speaker. In fact, if those of us who have had a corporate benefit from a specific part of industry were to walk out of the chamber, Mr Rugendyke, the pontificating control freak, would be the only person left here.

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