Page 1703 - Week 05 - Thursday, 8 May 2008

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today is to fall back on the scoundrel’s defence: “I was just following orders.” He did not follow orders in relation to a whole range of other things, as Mr Mulcahy and Mr Stefaniak have pointed out. Not all of the recommendations of the Electoral Commission were taken on board.

Mr Mulcahy: Just the convenient ones.

MRS DUNNE: Just the ones that were convenient for the ALP. This is what we will see over and over again. Mr Corbell can “humph” in his chair, turn his back and show how little he cares about the opinions of people in this place, let alone the people outside the Assembly. He will come back and say, “The Liberal Party’s reverting to type.” The Labor Party is showing just what type of organisation it is when it comes to upholding democracy in the ACT. This is an underequipped and underdone Attorney-General and minister responsible for electoral affairs, whose only defence for riding roughshod over this is: “I was told to do so by the officials.” This will be on his epitaph: “I was only following advice.” It is only about one step away from the Nuremberg defence, and the people of the ACT will remember it.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (10.07): There are a couple of points that have to be made. We have to respond to this sort of scurrilous rubbish that has been put forward. Mr Mulcahy, and to an extent Dr Foskey, have put forward—

Dr Foskey: And Antony Green.

MR HARGREAVES: Just wait—have put forward arguments to support their particular view. I do not happen to support their view but I respect the argument they have put forward. But what we have heard is a diatribe of drivel. We are having accusations thrown around the place, willy-nilly—the Nuremberg defence is a good one. We hear that this dark organisation, the Labor Party, is doing things in smoky rooms and all those sorts of things, yet the Attorney-General has said in this place that he supports the commission’s position. The process is that the commission puts it forward, the government of the day say whether they support that and then they bring it to the parliament.

Mr Smyth: That is a weak excuse.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Smyth thinks this is funny; he thinks it is contemptuous. The point that he has not recognised in this place is that this is not a collective of ideas compiled by the Labor Party. This is a report from an independent electoral commission. Is Mr Smyth therefore accusing that commission of being an instrument of the Labor Party? If he is, let him have the guts to stand up here and say so. If he is not, let him get up and say that.

Mr Smyth: If your argument is so weak—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

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