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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3694 ..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

In short, people cannot be sacked when they are on sick leave. Clearly, the spirit and intent of the law didn't apply to him. The fact that Mr Humphries is incapable of extending common decency and humanity to a fellow colleague, as I then was, makes him unfit to hold political office, even in the Senate.

MR SPEAKER: I think you should withdraw that.

MRS CROSS: I will withdraw, Mr Speaker. The truth is that Mr Humphries saw a political opportunity while I was ill to expel me from the party room.

In my short time as an opposition shadow minister I learnt some very disturbing facts about some of the personalities that occupy the opposition benches. Mr Speaker, I cannot be quiet when I see inappropriate conduct in public office occurring. One such example, Mr Speaker, was the Callam Street realignment-

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Mrs Cross has just inferred that every member of the opposition conducts themselves inappropriately as a holder of public office. This is inappropriate. Mr Speaker, if you allow this to continue, I will take a point of order every time Mrs Cross says something inappropriate about a member of this place. It will take all day if you like, but I will do it.

MR SPEAKER: Well, no it won't-I can tell you that much. You have raised this as a point of order. You can't honestly think that Mrs Cross is going to climb to her feet and speak on this subject without being critical of her former party colleagues.

Mrs Dunne: There are forms, Mr Speaker. There are ways to do this. If she has a problem she should raise it by way of a substantive motion.

MR SPEAKER: So what are you complaining about?

Mrs Dunne: I am complaining universally about reflections upon Liberal Party members and specifically about reflections upon Mr Humphries and the staff of the Liberal Party.

MR SPEAKER: I have already dealt with the matter of the staff of the Liberal Party.

Mrs Dunne: This is an ongoing thing. You have not warned or advised Mrs Cross that this is an inappropriate way to conduct herself in this chamber and, as a result, Mrs Cross is continuing to do this. This is not appropriate, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I have already said to you that if you have got specific words you want ruled out then I will-

Mrs Dunne: She has just said that members of the opposition behaved inappropriately while holding public office and I have asked you to rule that out of order. They are not appropriate words for this place.

MR SPEAKER: I am not going to rule that out of order in this place, otherwise I would have to zip everybody's mouth. Proceed, Mrs Cross.

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