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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3368 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: I am asking for a withdrawal. There was a reference in the letter to the fact that the media already knew about what was going on in the committee.

Mr Stanhope: No, no; he said push the envelope. That is what he said.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, what was that meant to mean?

Mr Quinlan: Probably write an erroneous story.

Mr Stanhope: Running all the rumours.

MR SPEAKER: Gentlemen, please!

MR HUMPHRIES: Running all the rumours? I think not, Mr Speaker. I think, Mr Speaker, that there was an inference in those remarks which is now clearly shown to have been untrue, and I ask that the inference be withdrawn.

MR QUINLAN: I seek leave to make an explanation under standing order 46 as well in response to that.

MR SPEAKER: Please do.

MR QUINLAN: Okay, thank you. First of all in relation to the press reporter, in fact a press reporter had phoned me seeking information that I refused to give and asserting that that person had information. That person even quoted information. The information was not totally accurate, but that reporter intended, I think, to push the envelope with the inaccurate information, and that is the import of the little note. One final point, Mr Humphries: I did not concede at any stage that the story in the Canberra Times was a divulgence of the content of the PAC hearing. It just happened to be a statement of what apparently had happened, and I never at any stage said that.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I sought a withdrawal and it hasn't come.

MR QUINLAN: What for?

Mr Humphries: The inference in Mr Quinlan's earlier remarks was that I, having received a letter from the PAC on the 17th, had divulged the information, or someone in my office had divulged the information, to the Canberra Times. Mr Quinlan has clearly conceded now that that did not happen and he should withdraw the inference.

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week the Chief Minister made the same inference about you, Mr Speaker, and about Mr Quinlan and about Mr Kaine. Last week, in this place, the Chief Minister clearly inferred, Mr Speaker, that either you, Mr Quinlan or Mr Kaine had leaked the information. He is now suggesting that there is an inference against him that perhaps he leaked it. He has not withdrawn the inference against you, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Gentlemen, I am tired of this slanging match across the chamber.

Mr Corbell: Well, make a ruling.

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