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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2053 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

about it, who intervened to try to stop it, how widespread the knowledge was and exactly how seriously people take this appalling invasion-this complete abandonment of standards, this trashing of the rights and privileges of parliament-privileges that are so important to the appropriate workings not just of the parliament but of government.

Mr Humphries: Aren't you pre-empting the findings of this report?

MR STANHOPE: I am talking about the principles. Mr Humphries, you admitted today, in your press release, that, over a period of two months, Mr Wood's mail ended up in your office and was read by a member of your staff. These are the concessions-the admissions you made today. Over January and February, Mr Wood's mail was being received in your office and opened by your staff.

Mr Humphries: You have to open it to see what it is!

MR STANHOPE: If you think that, because the DPP does not think the Crimes Act has been explicitly breached-in other words, he cannot find a specific offence-that is the end of the matter, it is not. A privileges committee is the most appropriate way of dealing with these grave issues.

MRS DUNNE (4.55): Mr Stanhope's words have confirmed my suspicions that this is just another outrageous attack on Liberal staff. I rise today as a former Liberal staffer to defend current Liberal staffers-some of my former colleagues, and some new staff.

Bagging Liberal staff has been the stock-in-trade of the Stanhope-led Labor Party. Mr Stanhope talks of a complete abandonment of standards-and he did it just now! This is an outrageous attack on a staffer who has just been exonerated-cleared-by the DPP, who said that he has determined that no criminal offence is disclosed by the evidence.

Mr Stanhope: What did he go on to say?

MRS DUNNE: I will get to that-you just wait.

What we have here is, again, an outrageous attack. We have seen Mr Stanhope's stock-in-trade over the past four years that he has been in this place. There was the infamous day, in this place, about three years ago that Mr Stanhope spent an entire day pulling down the reputation of not a Liberal staffer, but a Liberal DLO-a government DLO, who happened to work in the Liberal Party office.

Let us remember what sort of person we are dealing with. We have here today just another attempt to slur the staff of the Liberal Party in general and one staffer in particular.

You can smirk, Mr Stanhope, but you are the one talking about standards. You just threw them out the door. You just threw them out the door-the same as on 8 March this year when you implied that, because somebody had inadvertently received some emails, every member of the Liberal Party staff knew and connived about this. You defamed every member of the Liberal Party's staff in this place.

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