Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2005) . . Page.. 3195 ..
compromised when they genuinely felt that they were not getting a fair go. Along the way, in relation to access to documents, it was demonstrated that they might not have been getting a fair go. Their rights do not matter to you.
Dr Foskey mentioned the pursuit of closure. Yes, the sooner, the better. But what we have here, what you want, is a process whereby the rights of people who could be very severely affected by this inquiry are to be ignored. Not for a moment do I believe that you have great concern for fire victims and that you are here today driven by concern for fire victims. I do not think you have got those standards. In all the criticism that the Chief Minister has copped, virtually every one of his critics qualifies it by saying, “Look, we realise he is a man of principle; we realise he is a man of integrity.” Then they sling in the “but”. They do not say that about you. Trust me. Quite the contrary!
This is the grubbiest of political exercises on your part, and it is exemplified by the falsity, the falsehoods that permeate the structure of your motion. You are damned by your own words in here, your misuse of the words of the Chief Justice and the outrageous misleading of the public in relation to the cause of delay and the overall cost to the public purse. This action that you are taking is genuinely disgraceful.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell.
Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, the tradition is to go from one side to the other. I was on my feet first. The tradition has always been one speaker for, one speaker against.
MR SPEAKER: The standing orders require me to call the person I first notice. I merely first noticed Mr Corbell.
Mr Smyth: So another tradition gone.
MR SPEAKER: It is not another tradition gone. I am not going to have it imputed that I have set myself up to breach traditions and conventions in this place; so I would like you to withdraw that. The first person I notice, I have got to give them the call. The standing orders require that.
Mr Smyth: I withdraw.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.43): I will be brief because I am sure that Mr Smyth wants to contribute to the debate. This is, in many instances, the classic conspiracy theory at play from the Liberal opposition. I have watched, with growing alarm over the past 12 to 18 months, the hysteria around what happened on 18 January 2003; who is to blame; and the campaign that has been increasingly wrapped up by the Liberal opposition to bring home, sheet home, personal responsibility to the Chief Minister; and, as part of that campaign, to say, “There is something being hidden. Everything points to something being hidden.” It is classic conspiracy theory stuff.
There is something I have wanted to say for a long time and I am going to say it tonight. I was in Holder, at my home, on 18 January 2003. I am probably the only member of this place who was at home in one of the suburbs most directly affected on that day. I can assure you, Mr Speaker, and I can assure members, that, if the government, the