Page 376 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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I was a bit disappointed to hear Mr Smyth’s comments on 2CC the day after the decision when he said that the Canberra Liberals, if elected, may not fully fund the decision.

That quote does not exist. I did not say those words. I have just listened to the tape, and I am happy to read the section where I was asked how the Canberra Liberals are going to pay for this. I said:

Well, if we are elected this year, that’s certainly one of the problems that we would face, because what we’ve got is a budget that is in deficit and what we’ve got is a Government that hasn’t diversified the ACT economy, so that we can have the resources and reserves so that when these issues arise, we can meet that need. So, that is certainly something we’ll have to discuss and work out how we will fund those over the coming years.

I would ask Ms Burch to come down and either prove that I have said that the Canberra Liberals, if elected, may not fully fund the decision or apologise, as is required under the ministerial code of conduct.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella): Mr Speaker, I too seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46 about misrepresentation.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. Earlier today, in reference to the apology I made to Mrs Dunne last year, she said categorically that I was forced to make that apology. I was not. The moment I became aware that Mrs Dunne had some discomfort, I rang her at her home. It took all afternoon, half the next day and all the next day before I could finally get on to her. I did. I spoke to her. I offered her my sincere apologies. I thought they were accepted and I told her that it was my intention to come into the house the following sitting day and make an apology. There was no forcing of anything at all. It was a reasonable thing on my part to address the discomfort of a member, and I take great umbrage at the suggestion that I was forced to do that sort of thing.

Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 31 March 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (4.45): The Greens will be supporting this bill today. As the attorney has previously explained in this place, the proposed amendments flow from the Electoral Commission’s report on the 2008 ACT Legislative Assembly election. In the report the commissioner identified a number of relatively minor improvements to the Electoral Act which would streamline the process of running elections and ultimately make the process a smoother one. Election day is an important event and any improvements that make the day run more smoothly are welcome.

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