Page 3257 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005

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relation to an assault upon a young man in Civic. This is my response: I have read the transcript of yesterday’s proceedings. I can find absolutely no reference to the words which Mr Smyth claims Mr Hargreaves used yesterday. I will table that part of the transcript of yesterday. I am afraid I cannot respond to the question asked because I simply cannot find anywhere in the transcript the words which Mr Smyth alleges Mr Hargreaves used. I present the following paper:

Policing in Civic—Extract from Hansard, 24 August 2005—Answer to question taken on notice from Mr Smyth (Leader of the Opposition).

Matters raised by Mrs Burke

Statement by Speaker

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mrs Burke in relation to certain matters. The first relates to points of order. That is unusual because points of order are generally raised in the chamber and I deal with them as they are raised. The letter goes to matters that were part of a debate in this place on 23 August. I will deal with them in the reverse order to which Mrs Burke presents them to me.

The last one that she raised with me was in relation to standing order 55—personal reflections. She pointed to a number of matters that the Chief Minister raised in this debate on 23 August. It seems to me that these are either matters of fact or matters that the member, Mrs Burke, might dispute by way of avenues available to her through her membership of this Assembly. If it went to the inaccuracy of these issues, she would be able to raise them with me by way of standing order 46, for which I would gladly grant leave. I go further and say that there are often things said in this place that are not well received by members, but there are often responses that are potent and robust. I expect that practice to continue.

Another matter raised by Mrs Burke was the right of an unnamed person seeking a right of reply, which the Chief Minister mentioned in the course of the debate. It is true that a person has raised with me a matter of a right of reply. I can say that, in the course of debate, people can mention that I have received it—it does not trouble me at all—but I am bound by the Assembly’s resolution of 4 May 1995, which is a resolution of continuing effect and which gives me the riding instructions, if you like, on how citizens’ right of reply references to me are to be dealt with. I have received one, and I will deal with it in accordance with the resolution of continuing effect made by the Assembly.

Another matter which was raised by Mrs Burke mentions some comments made by the Chief Minister when he was commenting on some actions that she was involved in and when he used the words “inherently racist attack”. I think those words imply racism and are therefore disorderly. I would ask the Chief Minister to withdraw them.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs): I did not for one minute—and I do not for one minute—wish to impute that Mrs Burke was involved in a racist attack. In the comment I made—and if I may just quote the sentence—I was responding to representations that had been made to me by a Ngunnawal elder. I will withdraw the comment, but I do wish to give some context. A prominent Ngunnawal elder has responded to me on comments that Mrs Burke had made publicly. I said:

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