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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3701 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not believe that any allegations can be made by anybody if the police have not finished their investigations. Mr Stanhope has already foreshadowed a new law on this matter, because he believes that certain things that have happened apparently constitute or should constitute some sort of crime. He has repeated the allegation today that these emails were stolen. I say again to members of this place that that is an allegation of a crime.

I accept that Mr Wood has suffered a penalty or a disability by virtue of these emails not having been received by him when they were sent. I regret the fact that that has occurred. I had no involvement in that, but I am prepared to apologise on behalf of the Liberal Party for what went on in the suite of offices the Liberal Party occupies. But I think it would be appropriate and fair for the minister to acknowledge that something untoward, something inappropriate, something unreasonable and unfair has happened at their behest as well.

Let me turn finally to the evidence Mrs Cross gave to the committee. Mrs Cross was the only person to make quite direct allegations that I as Leader of the Opposition had actually known about the diversion of emails or knew about the existence of emails that came to Mr Wood. The evidence she gave was that she heard some comments made by the staff member concerned which led her to believe that he was referring to emails that had been obtained inappropriately; that she became concerned about that matter subsequently.

When asked what she did about that, she said that she instructed her staff member to go and discuss it with me. If you are not sure about that, I can find the quote, Mrs Cross, but that is what you said. You said you instructed a staff member to go and discuss the matter with me. I do not know what evidence Mr Moore gave to the committee, because he gave it in camera. But, as I said to the committee at the time, I did not receive any correspondence, any comments or any remarks from that staff member about this matter.

I ask members to ponder this question: if they believed that they were in a party which was engaged in seriously inappropriate conduct or perhaps, as the Chief Minister has alleged, illegal conduct, surely they would go and discuss that matter with the leadership of the party. They would go and talk about it with the leader of the party, the deputy leader, a staff member or somebody else.

Mr Hargreaves: Only if you trusted them. What if you do not trust them?

MR HUMPHRIES: I am sure you would do the same thing in those circumstances, Mr Hargreaves. You would not sit on it.

Mr Hargreaves: Yes, but I trust Mr Stanhope.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am glad to hear it.

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has expired.

MR HUMPHRIES: I seek a further extension of time. I will not be long, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: We have run into this difficulty before.

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