Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 Obviously, the Attorney-General is not aware of the following facts: (a) there was no court process; and (b) I have retracted the apology. Prior to this, I had never heard of the retraction or withdrawal of any apology. Perhaps that is the new way of doing things: stand in front of a mirror and retract apologies. That is the trouble with this member, Mr Speaker. He loves to take the high moral ground. He uses this House continually to spread innuendo, to blacken people's names, to smear people and to accuse people of things that they have not done. It is my opinion that the member for MacDonnell is a classic example of a 'king hit' merchant. I believe that his actions are part of the reason why some people refer to the parliaments of Australia as 'coward's c a s t l e s . At least he apologised to me for a short time. It was a definite admission that he was wrong. That was not the case with the Attorney-General. He and his wife Maureen have suffered enormously from his false accusations in this House. Both of them are good, honest people, but nothing deterred the member for MacDonnell from his smear campaign. What is more, he has never apologised to them. But how can anyone trust this person? Even when he does apologise, he retracts his apologies at will and does not even advise the person he apologised to that the apology has been withdrawn. The saga does not end there. Some 7i months after the first reference in the House, on Wednesday 13 October, he said during debate on the Appropriation Bill: 'Mr Chairman, I have a specific question to that answer. The Attorney-General will recall that the now disgraced former Minister for Lands and Housing gave what he purported to be advice from the Department of Lands and Housing in respect of a false affidavit that he had sworn'. He went on after some interjections: 'The point of order, Mr Chairman, is that the subject matter of the affidavits sworn and their truth or falsehood are in fact under investigation currently. I am prepared to qualify that'. At least, he started to get to the point that he had lodged a complaint. Mr Speaker, I am a little tired of the member for MacDonnell making these false accusations continually. I wrote to the Commissioner of Police inquiring as to my position and whether I would be interviewed on any case or matter that had been brought to his attention. He replied in this vein: In regard to your inquiry about the report on Channel 8 N e w s , I am advised Mr Bell MLA has made a complaint against you alleging you swore a false affidavit. The matter has been examined by a senior member of the Criminal Investigation Branch and he is of the opinion that no offence has been committed. In view of the nature of the allegation, however, the matter has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice before a final decision is made. Should the opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions indicate a prima facie case may have been committed, you will obviously be given an opportunity to provide information before the file is completed. Should, however, the opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions confirm that of police, it will not be necessary to take the matter any further. Once an opinion has been obtained, you will be notified of the outcome. On 15 October, I wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking some clarification. He replied on 20 October in the following terms: 10 265