Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3691 ..
MRS CROSS (continuing):
He then went further to suggest that his staff deserved an apology-for something or other unspecified. An apology, would you believe! Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? There is no end to this flim-flam.
What an insult to the intelligence of the members of this Assembly and to our fellow members of the ACT community that Mr Humphries should presume to claim, in this chamber and in the public arena, that those found guilty of serious misconduct are somehow innocent. I, not he, will tell you who the truly innocent victims are throughout this shameful, sorry episode, and they are sitting in the gallery today. Sue Whittaker and Mary Elliott. They are the honourable ones; the true, courageous ones. Yet they have been so savagely punished for the apparent "sin" of honesty.
For Mr Humphries to whine on behalf of his own tarnished staff, while disparaging those who are untarnished, is a travesty of all that is decent.
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: only last week you ruled on the question of reflections on a member of staff, I think, or members outside this place who don't enjoy the protection of this place. To attack me is okay, and Mrs Cross is obviously intent on doing that. But to attack the staff in this place is another matter altogether. It is a question of the standards which you have tried to impose on this house. I would ask you to caution Mrs Cross about continuing to attack the staff in this way. They can't get up in this place, as we can, to protect themselves.
Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: Mrs Cross was referring to the findings of a privileges committee-most serious findings-which came to a grave conclusion, namely that a member of Mr Humphries' staff had committed a contempt of this place. How can there be any substance to Mr Humphries' point of order? Mrs Cross was referring to the findings of a privileges committee, a finding that a member of Mr Humphries' personal staff, operating out of his office, was guilty of contempt.
This is not a case of Mrs Cross flaying around and simply criticising or targeting other staff. She is actually referring to a finding of a privileges committee of this place, a grievous finding that a member of Mr Humphries' personal staff, operating out of his office under his direct supervision, was guilty of a grievous contempt, namely that he read, downloaded, distributed and improperly used the email of a minister of the ACT government. I hardly think there is any substance at all. I take your point of order, Mr Humphries.
Mr Humphries: I am not talking about that staff member, Mr Speaker.
Mr Stanhope: Sit down, I have the floor.
MR SPEAKER: Order! I am the one that says when to sit down. I will let the Chief Minister finish his comments on the point of order and if you have a further point of order-
Mr Humphries: He is not talking about what I am talking about.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, if you would like to conclude.