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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3627..

Mr Moore: If I could speak to that, Mr Speaker -

MR SPEAKER: You may try, minister.

Mr Moore: Mr Hird asked me: has the opposition received the package well? Mr Speaker, I have kept an eye on the media, and it is not a matter of opinion. I can -

MR SPEAKER: Sorry, I must -

Mr Corbell: You have ruled on it, Mr Speaker. Sit him down.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment; you don't have to bother. Mr Minister, I cannot allow that question because the question of whether the opposition has received the package well can only be linked to some other comment. Otherwise you yourself could not possibly know.

Mr Moore: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: the Leader of the Opposition has made a number of comments that were reported in the media -

MR SPEAKER: Thank you -

Mr Moore: Indeed, and I am happy to refer those -

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry. The question was not phrased in that manner. The question asked for the view of the Labor Party - full stop, not through the media, not through osmosis or anything else. It is out of order.

Smash Repair Industry

MR QUINLAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. I presume that the government is aware of grave concern within the smash repair industry regarding moves by the NRMA to establish a preferred repairer program within the ACT, and indeed across the country. At the moment, this program involves between four and six large smash repairer firms in the ACT being given the status of a NRMA preferred repairer and it involves tow truck drivers being given no other option but to take damaged vehicles to NRMA repairers. Many repairers have grave concerns about the impact of this because effectively what it is going to do is freeze out some of them.

I know this crosses the boundary from territory to Commonwealth but is the government aware of what is happening and is it concerned? Is there anything we can do at the territory level, including discussing the matter with the NRMA, to try to ameliorate the situation which may send some smash repairers out backwards before Christmas?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Quinlan for that question. I am aware of the concerns that have been raised. I have had discussions with representatives of the smash repairers and also with the NRMA on this issue. My recollection is that I was seeking further advice from the Department of Justice and Community Safety in order to address the issues that were raised during the last discussions. I was aware that there were some contentions about the effect of competition policy in this area and concerns about the

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