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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2170..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

negotiations or the lack of strategic direction that they receive, because this report includes the fact that after there was no contract signed and the promoters were apparently supposed to be doing the job the public servants were also undertaking marketing activities?

MR SPEAKER: I am not sure whether that is a question or not, Chief Minister.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am not sure it is either, Mr Speaker. I will comment anyway. Mr Quinlan has drawn attention to something in the report. I remind you that the report is a comment on a process that took place in large part three years ago. It is a snapshot of what was taking place then, and it is not a very attractive snapshot, I have to concede, Mr Speaker. That is why the program of public service renewal has been initiated-to make sure that those incidents do not occur again.

Mr Quinlan: How about a program of politician renewal?

MR HUMPHRIES: I would be happy to accept these criticisms if I believed that you had a perfectly good record as a party on contracts. We know that you do not. We know that the Auditor has also had lots of things to say about the Labor Party's contracts when in government. The question is not whether we made mistakes. Governments unfortunately, consisting as they do inevitably of human beings, are fallible. It is not a question of whether governments make mistakes but how they respond to those mistakes and how they learn from those mistakes to ensure they do not recur.

I inherited government from a person who lost their position, who ceased to be Chief Minister of this territory, because of the mistakes that were attributable to her, for which she was responsible, with respect to the Bruce Stadium. She paid an extremely heavy price for that. My obligation to this community is that there should be change and renewal of the public service to respond to those problems so that they are not allowed to recur.

Namadgi National Park

MR KAINE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I asked you a question yesterday about the so-called management agreement that you have entered into over the Namadgi National Park with a number of Aboriginal people. In your reply yesterday, you said, amongst other things:

The government's decision was that it would make an offer of leasehold, which is effectively the greatest title in land that we can confer or can offer, to Ngunnawal people who chose to accept the offer on the basis that the offer would be non-inclusive, that it would permit others to join at a later stage if they could establish their credentials to do so ...

Chief Minister, isn't that something of a like it or lump it agreement in which you are telling the Aboriginal community, "Those of you who are prepared to agree to my terms can join the party, while those of you who are not prepared to agree to my terms can stay out in the cold." Isn't it, in fact, a mean and tricky agreement on the part of the government?

MR SPEAKER: That is an expression of opinion.


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