Page 3460 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, resume your seat. Members of the opposition will cease interjecting. Members of the government benches will also not participate in the affray.

MR STANHOPE: It does need to be stated for the record that the legislation that my government introduced has almost as its primary purpose to ameliorate the harsh, draconian, across-the-board aspects of Mr Smyth’s legislation.

Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order. The Chief Minister misleads the house. The original legislation was amended by Kerrie Tucker and Simon Corbell. He must stop.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Withdraw the imputation.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: I will. I will conclude on this point. There were many aspects of Mr Smyth’s legislation that were admirable and which the Labor Party and this government support, in fact which we have retained and which form a significant part of the new scheme. I congratulate Mr Smyth for his initial support for tree protection in the territory.

What does confuse me is the fact that the Liberal Party have walked away from it. They oppose the new regime. They oppose a tree protection regime for the territory. They have walked away from Mr Smyth’s commitment to trees, to the protection of exceptional trees within the territory, to the protection of our urban tree landscape. We commented on this in our caucus this morning. We commented on the extent to which Mr Smyth has been rolled on this.

It was interesting to reflect yesterday on those who rubbished this proposal in this place. They were Mrs Dunne, Mr Mulcahy and Mr Seselja, the faction in waiting, the dream team, the mob that are going to take over from “Brittle gum” Smyth. He does have a legacy in this area through his interim tree scheme. He did acknowledge the danger to some significant trees and the fact that some trees, when they bent or wilted or became fractured, when they represented a danger, might need to be removed as dangerous. Many of those are brittle gums.

The Liberal Party have acknowledged the danger of keeping Mr Smyth as leader of the Liberal Party and the Leader of the Opposition in this place. We consider that “brittle gum” Smyth will face the fate of many of those trees after which he is named.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It is inappropriate to refer to members by other than their proper title.

Mr Stefaniak: Also I raise a point of order under standing order 118 (a).

MR SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister has concluded his remarks.

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