Page 2689 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 26 September 2007

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In the context of the Liberal Party policy, which was essentially the subject of the question yesterday—which is the policy expounded by the Acting Leader of the Opposition—it does raise an issue or question about the protections that apply. I want to go to what other protections there currently are.

Mr Smyth: A point of order, Mr Speaker, the question was not about Liberal Party policy. The minister is not responsible for Liberal Party policy. He was asked to expound what further protections currently exist in ACT law, and he should answer the question. If he cannot, he should not be asked the dixer.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It is reasonable, I think, for the minister to give the reasons why those protections might be needed.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, and by way of example, in order to answer the question asked by my colleague,. I could raise it as a hypothetical, but it has been presented as Liberal Party policy through the Acting Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Burke, their housing spokesperson. It is expressed in her releases and her public utterances that the Liberal Party believes that not enough inspections are being carried out. I am reading her words. She says that not enough inspections have been carried out on public housing properties and they have not been carried out to the extent that they should be. Mrs Burke goes on to say that it is about time that these properties were subject to on-the-spot checks in order to stamp out drug-related activity. Mrs Burke then goes on to castigate the minister, and housing officials, actually—here we go again; bash public servants—when she goes on to say, expounding Liberal Party policy on these issues, that in order to address these issues, it is time that tenants were given little or no notice—

Mrs Burke: Point of order, Mr Speaker. If the Chief Minister is going to quote me, can he quote me directly, all of my releases—

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Resume your seat. There is no point of order, resume your seat.

Mrs Burke: He cannot misrepresent me—


Mrs Burke: That’s a misrepresentation.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I warn you to resume your seat when I ask you to.

MR STANHOPE: Indeed, the protections that apply, of course, are rigorous and long held, particularly issues around the need for a search warrant and the need for a right to enter. The new Liberal Party policy on public housing is the need, or the intention to inspect, without notice, at any time, on the spot, random, without suspicion. Of course, there are protections within the law, protections that, obviously, the Liberal Party would need to actually overturn in order to implement this particular policy. (Time expired.)

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