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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2478..


MR SPEAKER: We might have to use the call-in power.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.47): Mr Berry forgets. He says there are rumours that the numbers that attended are down. Well, he is wrong. It is not a rumour; it is the truth. The head of CTEC, Mr Service, put those figures out on the Monday following the event. We know that it was 109,000 last year and 101,000 this year. It is down 7.3 per cent, Mr Berry. It is not a rumour.

What I am waiting on are the reports that need to come together to give the full picture. Last year, that work was not available until October. As I said earlier today, I hope to table it before the end of this sitting session. I have just received some advice from my office. It is not the audited figures; it is the figures that will be complemented by the three reports that are all now in. The answer will be in this place on Thursday.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (3.48): Mr Speaker, I would like to compliment you on the change to standing orders. Mr Kaine will remember that standing order 118A was introduced by the current Speaker. Some people have said that Mr Smyth is in breach of standing orders. No, he is not in breach of standing orders. The standing orders give Mr Kaine the opportunity to ask Mr Smyth why he has not provided an answer and then to debate that-which you have used to good effect, Mr Speaker.

It has reminded me of how effective standing order 118A is in dealing with these sorts of issues and how much pressure it puts on ministers to answer their questions within 30 days. Other members may not recall this, but the reason this was put in was that, when Labor were in government, Labor ministers were tardy at providing answers. This has made sure that answers are given, no matter who is in government, and that they are given in 30 days. There is a penalty to be paid when you do not, and Mr Kaine has illustrated that really clearly.

MR KAINE (3.49), in reply: I have to acknowledge that the Speaker does get it right occasionally.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Personal explanation

MR QUINLAN: Pursuant to standing order 46, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Do you claim to have been misrepresented?

MR QUINLAN: Yes.

MR SPEAKER: Please proceed.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have been represented in this place as saying that I will resign from the Assembly if the government proves these figures to be true. That is not exactly the case. What I really said about these figures is that the


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