Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2570 ..
MR STANHOPE: Quite simply, Mr Speaker, because I did not recall it. Essentially, it is the classic spin, really, in terms of a little quote in the context of a discussion around the impact of the bushfire on the ACT. Since 18 January, I don't think I have been at all surprised at the determination by the Liberals in this place to take whatever petty, shallow, nasty, political advantage they can out of the fire. They started on the day of the fire and they have not stopped. On the day of the fire, they wheeled out Wilson Tuckey.
Mr Smyth: I wish to raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under standing order 118(b), he cannot debate this, or stray from the question. The question is clearly about prison funding and not about what the Liberals have said or done.
Mr Pratt: The "f"word was not mentioned, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I did hear mention in the question of the impact of a deficit. I think the Chief Minister is entitled to deal with that issue.
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker-precisely. It was an attack by Mr Stefaniak-an attack consistent with the attitude the Liberals have taken to the fire since 18 January. On 18 January, or the day thereafter, they wheeled out Wilson Tuckey. We all remember his involvement in the debate on the fire.
By 20 January, they were wheeling out Kate Carnell. She had a few words to say about the fire. She was out there playing the blame game. It was Wilson on the 19th. It's all the fault of this person and that person. Let's take a few scalps-let's see whom we can hang. On the 20th, it was Kate Carnell and, since then, the Liberals-our colleagues here, who are rudderless, leaderless and thoughtless.
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, again, standing order 118(b) does not permit debate. The minister must answer the question specifically about his own comments in relation to whether or not we would have a prison-and his apparent policy on the run. Please direct him to answer the question.
MR SPEAKER: Come to the point of the question.
MR STANHOPE: It goes very much to the answer I gave on 2CC. The fire had a tremendous impact on the community-a devastating impact. The fire caused the deaths of four of our citizens and burnt down over 500 houses-but does that stop the Liberals playing politics with it? And then there is this determination to find a scapegoat.
Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. This question is about the government's announcement yesterday to build a prison. There is no mention of the fire anywhere in the question. So far, in four minutes of answering the question, the Chief Minister has not actually got to the question of the prison. I think that, under the standing orders, you should call him to come to the point and answer the question.
MR SPEAKER: Come to the answer to the question.
MR STANHOPE: The reference to the fire which Mr Stefaniak made in his question was that there was a significant cost to the community as a result of this.