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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3692 ..

Mr Stanhope: To conclude: Mrs Cross was talking about somebody named in a privileges committee report and she is quite entitled to do so.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. An earlier point of order was raised in relation to staff. I will try to deal with that one first.

Mr Humphries: Can I make a response to what the Chief Minister has said. Mrs Cross did talk about the staff member concerned, but she then went on to talk about other Liberal staff and it is those people I am referring to. The staff member who was found to be guilty of contempt is, if you like, reasonably the subject of what is now turning into a debate, but the other staff are not. That is my point: it is the other staff that are being attacked by Mrs Cross' remarks. It is unfair and I ask that she not continue to do that.

Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: that is not what Mrs Cross said at all. Mrs Cross was deriding Mr Humphries' determination to insist that other staff deserved an apology. She is entitled to say that. That doesn't reflect on staff. Mrs Cross was upbraiding Mr Humphries for insisting through this scandalous affair that the appropriate response of the Assembly was to apologise to other staff. Mrs Cross actually then went on to say "unspecified and undesignated". How can simply rebutting Mr Humphries' assertion that they deserved an apology possibly be reflecting on other staff? What nonsense!

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. The position is this: Mrs Cross referred, if my memory is correct, to "tarnished staff". It is a matter of fact that a committee of this Assembly has reflected poorly on a staff member by way of a contempt finding. So, to that extent, in my view, members are entitled to refer to the contempt finding.

So far as other members of staff are concerned, I want to ensure that they are protected and I want to ensure that members in this place do not attack staff members in this place unduly. The fact of the matter is that a staff member has had a serious finding made against him, and members are entitled to refer to that. I took Mrs Cross' reference to staff as a reference to that person.

MRS CROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Don't take my word for it. Go and ask any normal, ordinary person in the street. They will tell you the same thing. That is how much out of touch with the community Mr Humphries and his ilk are.

Mr Humphries' conduct leading up to and beyond my departure from the Liberal Party has only confirmed what many have come to expect-politicians behaving badly. When politicians such as those in the opposition conduct themselves in a way that no other members of the community would be permitted to do, is it any wonder that many in the community hold us in contempt.

As is now public knowledge, a couple of months ago I became extremely ill. In fact, at one stage I was taken from the Legislative Assembly directly to hospital by ambulance. As soon as I was able, I notified relevant officers of this chamber-you, Mr Speaker; the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Humphries; the Liberal Whip, Mr Stefaniak; and the Clerk, Mr McRae. In any other workplace, common human decency, and indeed the Workplace Relations Act, requires that a person not be harassed or subjected to disciplinary

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