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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2696 ..

Personal explanation

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I seek leave make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Have you been misrepresented?

MR SMYTH: I believe I have. On 20 August this year, in the debate on a motion to suspend standing orders, Mr Quinlan said:

... the need for consistency; the need for federal legislation in relation to, say, changes to tax law to allow structured settlements ...

He went on to say:

What we saw as a result of petty politicking on the part of the opposition was businesses having people sign waivers and giving people the impression that they could participate in an activity if they signed these waivers. Those waivers had no force whatsoever but, misled by Mr Smyth, and quite clearly with the support of his party, people were told that the Smyth line was going to solve things.

He said yesterday, in an answer to a question from Ms MacDonald:

Further, I have heard that the opposition has established an insurance hotline. God help us. Now, not only are fools rushing in and telling people that waivers are okay and giving misinformation; they are going to institutionalise that and provide a hotline service so that they can spread misinformation across the airwaves.

I have never advised an organisation to use waivers. Indeed, I have advised organisations that it is not possible to use waivers because of the Trade Practices Act. Neither I nor my colleagues in the opposition are giving out misinformation on the use of waivers.

I take the democratic right of citizens to present to their local members a petition extremely seriously, and I would hope that my fellow members also treat this fundamental right with the respect it deserves.

I also take the insurance issue extremely seriously. The bills I have presented are testament to that.

I believe that Mr Quinlan's comments breach standing orders 54 and 55, and I ask that he withdraw them.

MR SPEAKER: I am happy to examine Hansard in respect of that. I am not going to make a ruling on it now.

Mr Quinlan: Sorry, I missed the last bit. What was the last bit?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth argues that you ought to withdraw certain words because they offend standing orders 53 and 54. I cannot make a judgment on that without looking at Hansard.

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