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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1341 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

that to be the case. The other part of the answer I gave was that, no, I would not table it, and that remains my answer.

But I think, Mr Speaker, it will be interesting to have a look at the Hansard to see on what basis it was that Mr Cornwell could stand up in here and say that neither the Prime Minister's office nor the Prime Minister's Department has any knowledge of a letter which I sent, and yet he can stand up again a second later and give the date that the letter was dispatched. So either Mr Cornwell has misled the Assembly with his question or the Prime Minister's office or the Prime Minister's Department has lied to Mr Cornwell, or Mr Cornwell has been reading my mail.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, I would ask you to withdraw the imputation that Mr Cornwell has misled the Assembly.

MR STANHOPE: I will withdraw that, Mr Speaker. But this issue does bear some further investigation. Having regard to the knowledge that we have of the use which the previous Leader of the Opposition's office was put to in the reading of minister's mail, having regard to the reputation of the Liberal Party in relation to the reading of other people's mail, I think this is a matter of grave concern. We know their history, we know their complete disregard for the privacy of others, we know they go around reading other people's mail-we know they do that. Mr Cornwell has now given another very concerning example of their propensity, apparently, to do the same.

Mr Cornwell: Mr Speaker, I must ask that that be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: What was that?

Mr Cornwell: The propensity of me-

MR STANHOPE: There was a Privileges Committee inquiry into your propensity to read other people's mail, Mr Cornwell.

Mr Cornwell: I beg your pardon!

MR SPEAKER: What is your point?

Mr Cornwell: I asked that the inference that I am involved in reading other people's mail-a propensity-be withdrawn. By inference, the Chief Minister directed his last comment about an inquiry into the reading of other people's mail at me, and I ask that to be withdrawn, too.

MR SPEAKER: I think the points that were being made by the Chief Minister were generally-

Mr Smyth: No, it was aimed at Mr Cornwell.

Mr Cornwell: Withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: I think you had better withdraw.

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