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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2466..


MR BERRY (continuing):

In the case of either an acquisition or the creation of a security interest over a "significant asset", the terms of any approval given by the Territory must be laid before the Legislative Assembly.

Did you happen to notice that part of the legal advice? Did you happen to notice whether there had been any attempt to comply with it?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this is the same question that Mr Berry has already asked. I will give him the same answer that I gave him before.

Mr Berry: No, no.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is the same question. Mr Speaker, it is fine for us in this place because we are pretty used to accusations flying around like confetti that people have broken the law. But other people are casualties of this process, particularly officers in Totalcare who, by obtaining that advice some time ago, were prudently taking the precaution of ensuring that they did not break the law. They acted in accordance with that advice. The people who get hurt in the accusations that Mr Berry throws around this place appear to matter very little in the scheme of things when he gets on the radio and television and says that there has been a breach of the law.

Mr Berry: There has been.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I do not think there has. I have sought advice from the Government Solicitor. When that advice comes back, if I am wrong I will live by that advice. All I ask is that Mr Berry do the same thing.

Mr Berry: The Government Solicitor has been wrong before.

MR HUMPHRIES: If the Government Solicitor tells us that this venture has been legally entered into then I would expect Mr Berry to come into this place and apologise to the people in Totalcare whom he has accused in this matter.

We just heard an interjection that the Government Solicitor has been wrong before. Perhaps you are not quite sure of your legal advice anymore. The government system might be wrong, I hear Mr Berry say. Shall we go somewhere else for the advice? Whose advice will you accept, Mr Berry? You have had your own firm of solicitors give some advice, I might say based on bad information. But the fact is you have to accept someone's advice independently at some point in this matter. So if Mr Berry is prepared to make the accusation, he should be man enough to acknowledge he has made a mistake if the advice comes back independently to suggest that he is wrong.

Drug Policy

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Chief Minister. In a media release on the issue of a referendum on drug policy you released today you make reference to the AMRS survey of 415 households and claim that it demonstrates that Canberra people are well educated about drug issues and there is a strong community feeling about the matter. Are you aware that despite advice to the contrary the people surveyed were specifically asked whether they supported a supervised injecting room or shooting


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