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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2460..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

Yes, I would apologise if there had been a mistake. That is something that this side does when we get something wrong. We actually apologise, unlike those on the other side of the chamber who make offers to resign if they are caught out and then fail to keep their promises.

V8 Supercar race

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, my question through you is to Mr Smyth, as minister. It relates to a question that I asked the minister on 14 June about the GMC400 car race. That question was quite specific and it had to do with how many one-day, two-day and three-day tickets had been sold for this event, how those sales compared with last year's, and how many tickets were sold to spectators from interstate.

Mr Speaker, you will be aware that the standing orders of this place provide that, where a minister takes a question on notice, as Mr Smyth did, that he has 30 days to produce the answer. My question was asked on 14 June, so that 30-day period has long expired.

Minister, why are you seeking to avoid answering my simple and straightforward questions of nearly eight weeks ago, incidentally in breach of our standing orders? Secondly, will you provide the information now and, if not, why not?

Mr Moore: No, it is not in breach of standing orders.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I am not sure that this is in breach of standing orders. I am under the impression that the 30-day rule only applies to questions on notice.

Mr Moore: On the notice paper.

MR SMYTH: Questions taken on notice in question time should be answered as quickly as possible. When I have the audited final results, as I said, I will make them public. I am yet to receive those. They are due shortly and, when I receive them, not only will I give Mr Kaine his answer, but I will table them for the use of members in this place.

MR SPEAKER: I will just correct something. Standing order 118A, as I am sure Mr Kaine was just about to say, reads:

If a minister does not answer a question on notice (including a question taken on notice during questions without notice) ...

That is the situation.

MR KAINE: In the absence of any answers from the minister on these questions, I ask him whether it is a fact that the 2001 GMC400 car race, into which the Carnell-Humphries government has put many millions of taxpayers' dollars, and which the government has already admitted was attended by far fewer spectators this year than last, actually ran at a loss, and whether this is the reason that the minister has been attempting to hide the facts.


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