Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4407 ..
MR SMYTH: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why has it taken you two years, and counting, to develop a ministerial code of conduct when you promised that it would be substantially completed by March 2002?
MR STANHOPE: The government has been a tad busy over the last couple of years converting the ACT into the most vigorously growing economy in Australia. We have reversed many of the mistakes of the past, we have overcome seven years of incredibly incompetent, dishonest, dissembling-
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I reckon I can guess what this one is.
Mr Smyth: You might be wrong. The Chief Minister just accused the last government of being dishonest, and I would like that to be withdrawn. Also, under standing order 118 (b), he is not to debate the issue; he is to answer the issue for himself.
MR SPEAKER: If the word "dishonest"was used, I would like it to be withdrawn, but I think the Chief Minister is entitled to answer the question. As I heard it, you asked him why it has taken him so long, and I think he is trying to respond to that.
MR STANHOPE: I did say that the previous government was dishonest; in aspects of its work it certainly was. It was certainly intellectually dishonest on many occasions.
Mr Stefaniak: Point of order, Mr Speaker. He is just repeating it. It is the same thing.
MR SPEAKER: It is not in relation to members in this place.
MR STANHOPE: I said the government was dishonest.
Mr Stefaniak: On the point of order, I was a member of the government, and Mr Smyth was. I take offence. The government was a limited number of people.
MR SPEAKER: I think it would be easier if you withdrew it, Chief Minister.
MR STANHOPE: I will withdraw because it is the easiest thing to do. I withdraw the suggestion that it was a dishonest government. It was certainly a government that lacked intellectual rigour.
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker. The established form in this place is not to repeat the comment or allegation that has been made; it is to withdraw unequivocally without repetition. If he won't adhere to that standing order, Mr Speaker, you might draw that to his attention.
MR SPEAKER: He withdrew without qualification, Mr Smyth.
MR STANHOPE: I did.
Mr Smyth: Having repeated it.