Page 678 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 22 February 2012

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Personal explanation

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella): Madam Assistant Speaker, under standing order 46, I wish to make a personal explanation. An issue has come to light of Mr Coe making an allegation to the press about a note I passed to him supposedly in August 2010. The note was in poor taste and referred to the mountain bike race at Stromlo park. It has been suggested by Mr Coe that I intended it as a gay slur and as a slur against the Deputy Chief Minister. I need the record to show that I reject the premise of Mr Coe’s take on the note. I have a record going back decades in which I have championed the cause of gays and lesbians in this town. I am outraged that such an accusation be made and I am most deeply insulted by the suggestion.

I acknowledge, however, that this exercise of poor judgement on my part has brought the government into possible disrepute and it has also brought this Assembly into possible disrepute. I hold both institutions dear and I am unhappy about this outcome. This scurrilous attack on me follows a series of them after I moved a motion against the Leader of the Opposition last week. The theory is to attack me, is to attack the Chief Minster and thus the government, and I must not let this happen.

I accept that I must pay a heavy price for the exercise of this poor judgement and thus I have tendered my resignation as government whip to the Chief Minister. Let me be very clear about this: I resign because of the damage the scurrilous attacks on me will have on the integrity of the Chief Minister and the government, and I reject outright the assertions of Mr Coe.

Mr Speaker, I have offered my resignation over something which occurred over 18 months ago, with a slight memory of the actual events but in the knowledge that I would never slur people in this manner. This is the honourable thing to do. I call upon the Leader of the Opposition to consider his position in relation to the events of the past two weeks. The similarity is stark.

I extend my apologies to my colleagues and my friends and most of all to my family. This exercise in poor judgement comes with a heavy price and I trust that now the matter can rest. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Work Health and Safety (Bullying) Amendment Bill 2012

Rescission and reconsideration

Motion (by Dr Bourke), by leave, agreed to:

That, in relation to the Work Health and Safety (Bullying) Amendment Bill 2011, the Assembly:

(1) rescind the resolution of the Assembly to agree to the remainder of the Bill as a whole and that the Bill, as amended, be agreed to; and

(2) recommit the Bill at the detail stage and that the following questions be put in relation to the Bill:

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