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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 606..

Mr Moore: Normally, we would not. You can remove the names.

MR RUGENDYKE: I withdraw the request. Was that email simply just vindictive behaviour, or what was the purpose of the email?

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, the question is out of order. I am asked to express an opinion on whether the behaviour was vindictive. I certainly do not know the answer to that question, nor should I answer it.

ACTEW/AGL - Proposed Joint Venture

MR HIRD: My question is to Mr Humphries as Treasurer. Is the Treasurer aware of a media release from an organisation known as the Australia Institute which claims that there is no benefit from the proposed joint venture partnership between ACTEW and AGL? Is this correct?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Hird for that question.

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Surely that is asking for an expression of opinion.

Mr Kaine: He said, "Is it correct?". Presumably, the Minister can only venture an opinion and I did not think that that was permissible under standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: That is very true.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, as I understand the question, it was: "There are claims that there is no benefit from a proposed joint venture partnership between ACTEW and AGL. Is this correct?". This is a matter that goes to the very heart of the debate that I am responsible for and I have been asked continually for the last three weeks questions about the benefits of a proposed joint venture between ACTEW and AGL.

Mr Hargreaves: Can we have a ruling, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, Mr Minister. The question was that the Australia Institute had made this claim.

Ms Carnell: Yes, it is on the public record.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. If the question is turned around to say that it has been claimed that there are no benefits - - -

Mr Hargreaves: Come on, rule it out of order.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment. That is not an unreasonable thing. But the Minister is not responsible for the Australia Institute; that is the point I am making. Would you like to swing it around?

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