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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 11 August 2015) . . Page.. 2669 ..

connections between our nations and the influence India has had on Australia. The influence continues to grow as our communities and economies become further intertwined.

Members—media interviews

Transport—light rail forum

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (9.44): Last Thursday, in the dying minutes of the sitting day, Mr Coe used the adjournment debate to criticise my conduct in the public discussion about travel entitlements and accused me of seeking to gain political advantage from the debate having “done media on several occasions”. For Mr Coe’s benefit and for the benefit of other members, I spoke to the media on two occasions on the issue. I did not initiate either interview.

The first occasion was on ABC radio. When I was asked to appear on the program I was told that both Mr Hanson and Mr Barr were being asked to participate in the discussion, although obviously neither was able to subsequently. But that is hardly me seeking to gain political advantage.

On the second occasion I spoke to the media it was to the Canberra Times. At the time the journalist indicated he was also seeking comment from Mr Barr and Mr Hanson. Mr Barr was quoted in the subsequent article, as was I. Again these circumstances hardly point to my going out there to gain some sort of political advantage. That may be how Mr Coe operates, but it is not how I see the world.

Having made that accusation, Mr Coe then went on to attempt to smear me by misrepresenting an event I attended in Hobart. For the benefit of members, I will now provide a full account of the issue of interest to Mr Coe. In June 2013 I attended and spoke at a stakeholder roundtable on light rail in Hobart. The forum was held at Hobart Town Hall and was attended by 40 people from government, industry and the community sector as well as elected representatives from different political parties. It was certainly not a Greens candidate forum, as has been claimed by Mr Coe.

Attendees at the forum included representatives of the federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the Tasmanian Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Glenorchy City Council, the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania, the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, Glenorchy Football Club, Northgate Shopping Centre, the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council and the Hobart Northern Suburbs Railway Action Group.

At the forum the Tasmanian Greens minister responsible for sustainable transport, Nick McKim, spoke about the Tasmanian government’s support for the Hobart to Glenorchy light rail link. Earlier that week the minister had convened the inaugural meeting of the light rail task force involving Tasmanian government ministers, the mayors of Hobart and Glenorchy and the head of the Tasmanian Planning Commission in moving forward with the proposal to develop light rail from Hobart.

Labor Party upper house member Craig Farrell MLC was also a speaker at the forum and independent federal member for Denison Andrew Wilkie MP was present at the forum. This was not a Greens party event, nor was it an election campaign event.

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