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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 4673 ..

Mr Smyth (continuing):

answer on behalf of the ACT government, which he has avoided-and he avoids it simply because he has no answer.

MR SPEAKER: Order! If your questions are couched in a way that they invite comment which is uncomfortable, that is not something that I can do much about. You have asked the Chief Minister to tell the Assembly what his government might be doing on the day, and it is open to him to answer it in the way that he responded. But the time has expired, as it turns out.

Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, I think it was in order for me to make those points. I was making points about the policies of the Liberal Party-the things that make us not particularly proud to be Australian.

Mr Smyth: Again, he is debating the issue, Mr Speaker.

Mr Stanhope: I am speaking to the point of order. I was speaking about some of the individual beliefs of this particular branch of the Liberal Party that make us feel not all that particularly proud to be-

Mr Smyth: But you won't talk about Australia Day-

Mr Cornwell: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: One at a time! Chief Minister, come to your point of order.

Mr Stanhope: On the point of order, I think it is legitimate that I address those issues in relation to the behaviour and attitudes of members of this particular branch of the Liberal Party that make-

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Chief Minister.

Mr Cornwell: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: the Chief Minister was simply in breach of standing order 117 (c) (i). He was expressing an opinion, sir-his opinion, not ours by any manner or means-on those topics.

MR SPEAKER: No, I think you have got that one wrong, Mr Cornwell. That standing order provides that questions shall not ask ministers for an expression of opinion. Ministers in this place often express opinions about matters. In any event, the time for the response to the question has expired.

Draft water strategy

MS TUCKER: My question to the Minister for Environment, Mr Stanhope, is in regard to the draft explanatory document, volume 2, "Think water, act water". I was interested to read at one point in the background briefing-and this is talking about water supply-that 'So far no attempt has been made to quantify the environmental cost of each option. Measuring and balancing the environmental, social and economic costs of each option will determine the best options for further water supply".

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