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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 564..

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think it is a hypothetical question, but I think if there is any - - -

Mr Moore: No, it is not hypothetical. I am asking: Will you give us the funds?

MR SPEAKER: It is a very good thing, Chief Minister, that this is not asking for a legal opinion.

MRS CARNELL: I am sure that it is not, Mr Speaker. If you have any indications whatsoever, say, from the Government Solicitor, that there is likely to be a legal problem with a piece of legislation, then all you have to do is come to me and ask. If there is no legal view or if there is no indication that there is likely to be a legal problem, c'est la vie; but in this case we had internal advice that we were likely to end up in the Supreme Court. Is it then appropriate for the Government not to seek external advice?

I think one of the things that showed that that is important is that my advice is that, when we were briefing one of the crossbenchers this morning, when presented with the Government Solicitor's advice the comment was, "How could we possibly believe the Government Solicitor?". We said, "We thought we needed another advice, too", and handed over the private advice. That indicates exactly the reason why, if there are indications internally that there is a problem, it is very important to make sure you have the right advice so that the Assembly can make decisions based upon all of the information.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, it has been pointed out to me that, in one of the debates we had the day before yesterday, I made the comment, "Therefore, it was impossible for us to go ahead with a 1997 valuation until last week". I should have said that it was inadvisable, rather than impossible. I assume that nothing is impossible.

Road and Streetlight Maintenance

MR SPEAKER: I present, for the information of members, Auditor-General's Report No. 2 of 1997 - Roads and Streetlight Maintenance, pursuant to section 17 of the Auditor-General Act 1996.

Motion (by Mr Humphries), by leave, agreed to:

That the Assembly authorises the publication of the Auditor-General's Report No. 2 of 1997.

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