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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3712 ..

MR WOOD: You could have come and spoken to me, Ms Tucker. As a stickler for the rules-

Ms Tucker: I didn't know any of this was happening. Don't tell me I should have spoken to you.

MR WOOD: All right. What we sought to do with Ms MacDonald's motion was to adjourn the debate. There will be ample scope for proper consideration to be given to the whole context of the report, censure motion or not. There is a considerable amount that may well be discussed, as you would well know, Ms Tucker. To say that the rest of the discussion of this report will only be on whether there is to be a censure motion is simply nonsense.

Ms Tucker: Under standing order 46, can I make clear that I was misunderstood?

MR SPEAKER: If you want leave to make a statement under standing order 46, I would prefer you to wait until we have resolved the question before the house.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (11.59): Just on that: there is something that does need to be put in context here. It is not for the Assembly and it is not for the opposition to determine whether the government or any member of this place will move a censure motion. No member of the government has said that there will be a censure motion. I was asked a question-

Mr Humphries: Oh, come on!

MR STANHOPE: They have not. I have been asked by a number of journalists, all very interested in this scandal and its aftermath, "Will you move a censure?" My answer on every occasion has been that there are a number of options open to any member of the Assembly and, of course, a censure motion is an option. Of course it is, isn't it? But at no stage has the government said that it intends to move a censure motion.

I said that we would read the report, that we would study it, and we would listen and study the opposition's response to this scandal. That is what I said we would do, and that is what we will do. But I am not going to respond to your Senate preselection campaign. Why are you so anxious or nervous to have this matter put to bed?

Mr Humphries: You have been for the last six months. Why change?

MR STANHOPE: Why are you so anxious to put this to bed today? Why are you so nervous? What is your nervousness all about?

Mr Humphries: Because that is the convention.

MR STANHOPE: There is no convention. There has been no undertaking. There has been no statement by this government that it will be moving a censure motion. This government has responded to questions from the media about whether it will move a censure motion by saying, "We will consider a range of possible options. We will consider a detailed government response to the Privileges Committee."

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