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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 623 ..

MR QUINLAN: I seek your guidance, Mr Speaker. I said "I had thought that Mr Smyth was dishonest... "

Mrs Dunne: I still want the word withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: I think that is a clear imputation.

MR QUINLAN: I am happy to withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: I think you should withdraw it.

MR QUINLAN: I will withdraw that, but it is advice. Yes, okay-that is fine. As I said, Mr Smyth did persistently, both in and out of this place, parrot some clear misinformation that was repeated again and again by Mr Humphries and has been repeated by other members.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I think "parroting misinformation"tends to give the same implication.

MR SPEAKER: I do not agree with that. If "misinformation"were ruled out in this place, we could close down-you know what I mean. I think that is taking it a bit too far. Mr Quinlan has withdrawn an imputation-I think that is as far as we need to go on this one.

MR QUINLAN: There is no doubt that there was a conscious, deliberate process of misinformation.

Mrs Dunne: Come on! Mr Speaker, on a point of order, we have just gone over this. You have said that saying someone is dishonest is inappropriate language. To say "consciously and deliberately parrot misinformation and then repeat that"Is just a fancy way of saying he is telling lies. I want it withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: I have ruled, Mrs Dunne, and I am not going to alter my ruling.

MR QUINLAN: In a more general sense, there is a simple solution: do not parrot misinformation, and then we will not have to address the problem.

Otherwise, let me advise the Assembly that there are four methods of funding the cost of these bushfires. They are: insurance, which carries with it the requirement to pay excess; the natural disaster recovery arrangements; the Prime Minister's promised generosity-the commitments he made shortly after the bushfires-and, unfortunately, taxpayers' funds.

To clarify another point, from time to time there has been reference to an amount of money in reserve within the insurance authority. There is something in the order of $60 million worth of accumulated reserve in that authority. At the same time, we have actuarial advice that commits virtually all of that $60 million to other pending claims. So, in fact, those funds are not available to address this problem. I hope that clarifies it. It is something I had to go and check on.

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