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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2987 ..


Motion (by Mr Stanhope ) put:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Statement by Chief Minister

MR PRATT (6.46): I wish to make a statement. I had intended to use standing order 46, but I now do not need to because we are in the adjournment debate. Mr Speaker, earlier today Mr Stanhope made an unnecessary and uncalled for comment about my character. He said about me, "He is a mole. He is a mole-a role he has had some experience in."

What Mr Stanhope said was unparliamentary and blatantly untrue. I am happy to provide Mr Stanhope with an autographed copy of my book to prove this point because I know he has not read it. He probably has not read any book for that matter, and he sure as hell has never written one. I therefore request that Mr Stanhope formally withdraw the comment or have the guts to take this outside the chamber.

Ms Julia Fetherston

MR CORNWELL (6.47): I rise to extend congratulations, which I am sure will be supported by other members of this Assembly, to Julia Fetherston, a year 11 Canberra Girls Grammar School student who, apart from being one of four of the winning team in the World Schools Debating Championships in Lima, Peru, was named the best individual speaker. This is no small achievement. We in this house could no doubt all profit from her assistance from time to time.

Mr Speaker, as the patron of Rostrum ACT, you would know that Ms Fetherston has participated in numbers of debates under the auspices of Rostrum ACT. I am sure they will be delighted at this award. I would like to extend my best wishes and congratulations to her and to the Australian team, and I look forward to all four of them going back next year to the world championships in Germany to defend their title, I trust, successfully.

Statement by Chief Minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (6.48): I need to respond to comments made by Mr Pratt. I did not realise that Mr Pratt would take with such dudgeon comments I made in relation to his question to the Minister for Industrial Relations today. I did make comments and interject, which was unparliamentary and undignified of me.

Having regard to the extreme left-wing views that Mr Pratt was exhibiting in his determination to override his federal colleagues' industrial relations legislation, I commented that it may have been the case that he had been planted in the ranks of the Liberal Party to deliberately undermine their more hardline approach to matters of industrial relations and the rights of workers.

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