Page 2706 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 16 August 2005

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MR QUINLAN: In Canberra the Labor Party increased its vote by 5.1 per cent.

Mr Smyth: And what did the Liberal Party increase its by?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, order!

MR QUINLAN: In Molonglo the Labor Party increased its vote by 6 per cent. In Molonglo the Liberal Party decreased its vote by 1.5 per cent. Let us take the suburbs that were affected. In Chapman, after the bushfires, after all of this was on the table, the Labor Party increased its vote by 9.3 per cent. In Duffy, which was also materially affected, the increase was 8.6 per cent. Mr Smyth does not represent the opinions of people out there. He is using bushfire victims for his own tawdry gain. Mr Stanhope was right. Mr Smyth has double standards in relation to people’s rights. He is prepared to trample the rights of nine people, to give them no recourse to the justice system, even though others will still have their day and get their report. He wanted to scotch their rights altogether. Why? For purely political reasons.

Mr Stanhope has spoken about the spin that Mr Smyth has put on the cost, the misinformation he has peddled in the public forum. He peddled in the public forum that it cost a whole lot of money. It has not cost the government, but he is prepared to say it. Mr Smyth is prepared to claim that he is representing people of the areas that were affected, when the figures show the government has been roundly endorsed by the affected areas.

Mr Smyth: What were we to say to these people yesterday?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

MR QUINLAN: Yes, we recognise there are victims who still have not recovered, and Mr Smyth ought to stop trying to use them, because that is what he is doing. This is the lowest of politics. It is amazing the amount of self-righteous breast beating that comes from that side of the house when, at the same time, on the same issue, people are prepared to peddle misinformation in the public forum. They do not have very high standards.

Overall, misinformation is being peddled and false claims of representation are being made—claims that can be denied by the statistics. Of course, this motion will be defeated because of the numbers. It was always a political stunt. On radio yesterday it was conceded that it was a political stunt. But underneath that political stunt is the preparedness on the part of the opposition of the ACT to deny recourse to the full legal processes of nine people who have been through an horrendous process already and who are still under tremendous pressure. The opposition should have concern for individuals—

Opposition members interjecting

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