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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 19 February 2015) . . Page.. 590 ..

If the Chief Minister wanted credibility on this issue he would have brought it up last week. We were hardly overburdened with executive work last week. If this is such an overriding issue and such a passionate thing that the Chief Minister believes in, you would have thought he might have brought it up last week. But we all know what is happening here. That said, if those opposite had let Mr Hanson finish they would have heard—

Mr Barr interjecting—

MR SMYTH: It is interesting. Mr Hanson sought to speak with Mr Barr before the debate but he fobbed him off; he did not want to speak to him. Mr Hanson asked a reasonable question in the debate. You can read it in CityNews. The implication in CityNews and in Mr Barr’s press release is that those who have received honours—people like Angus Houston, Marie Bashir, Dame Quentin Bryce and Sir Peter Cosgrove—would be stripped of these titles.

Mr Hanson asked about that. Mr Barr said, “You will find out how we feel about that later in the debate.” And now we have found out because Mr Corbell wisely stood up and said, “No, that is not the intention,” so we will agree to the motion.

I am quite aware of a lot of animosity from people about this decision and I have spoken to some of those notable Australians, Companions of the Order of Australia, who have said, “Where does this leave us?” Certainly, Sir Angus Houston is a bit of a personal hero of mine. He is a great man and he is a great servant to this country and I am not worried by him being Sir Angus at all.

That said, I think they have had their day and I think we need to move on and make sure that we have a system of honours that represents us as a country and represents us as a people, and with that we agree with the motion.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.58), in reply: There we have it: leadership from the bloke who should have won the party room ballot—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: It is the nicest thing I am going to say about you all year, Mr Smyth. Thank you for doing in about seven seconds what the Leader of the Opposition could not do in 15 minutes.

Let me say two things in closing the debate. Yes, it is important that this Assembly have a unanimous view on this matter. I am delighted that we have just got that indication from the shadow treasurer, and I thank him for that. I know it would be difficult for some on that side of the chamber to support this today, simply because I have moved it. I understand that that as a starting point would make it very difficult for them, but it is good to see that on this issue—

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