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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1007 ..

MR STANHOPE: Quite simply, Mr Humphries. Having regard to the amendments that you have sought to introduce to the Inquiries Act, I thought you would have understood the difference-that there are at least two ways, and perhaps more, that the report might have been made publicly available, put on the public record, by me.

One was in the circumstances that you just suggested, that I could simply have released it publicly. I could have released it to the media, I could have handed copies out in the street. That was one of the issues, of course, on which I sought advice from the ACT Government Solicitor-what the implications of that would be.

As you know, because I have provided you with a copy of it, the ACT Government Solicitor provided me with advice that, for the purposes of certainty around the issue of absolute privilege, the better course of action for me to follow was to table the report in the Assembly in order to ensure-

Mr Humphries: You said it had to be tabled-

MR STANHOPE: Listen to the answer because your assumptions are just shot to pieces. I have legal advice from the ACT Government Solicitor, a copy of which I provided to you, which advised me that, for the want of certainty, to put the matter beyond doubt, and in order to ensure that the report attracted absolute privilege, it should be tabled in the Assembly and that a motion should be moved that its publication be authorised.

Mr Humphries: It is a separate issue, Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: It is not a separate issue. They were the options available to me. I took advice on the options available to me.

One of the options was to simply release it broadscale. The other option was to table it in the Assembly. I took the advice of the ACT Government Solicitor and chose to table it in the Assembly.

Mr Humphries: It is not how you were going to table it; it is whether you were going to table it.

MR STANHOPE: That wasn't your question.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. You have been particularly tolerant of the disruption of the Assembly through constant interjections. I would merely ask you to invoke standing order 202 and apply it to all those members who constantly interrupt.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves, for your point of order. There seemed to be a pressing desire by members of the opposition to have Mr Stanhope tell them the story over and over again. I don't know why.

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