Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3364..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
I am wrong, I would appreciate your quoting from the article directly so that we can see what Mr Service actually said about what the government knew at the end of June.
MR WOOD: That was pretty evasive, wasn't it? My supplementary question is: can you confirm that today's Canberra Times story also reveals that the reason Actew was forced to make an additional investment that was disproportionate to its shareholding was that other partners, AGL and TVG, were not prepared to put more in?
MR HUMPHRIES: I am not prepared to accept the assertion that an investment was made which was disproportionate to its shareholding. I am not prepared to accept that assumption or assertion made in the question. I come back to the first part of this question about the state of knowledge. The fact that you have not quoted the article, Mr Wood, proves to me that, in fact, Mr Service made no statement of the kind that you are asserting. We have certainly sought further information from Actew since the original issue was put to us at the end of June. Information has been forthcoming.
Mr Service would be the first to concede that a revised business plan for TransACT has not yet been provided, so I am sure that Mr Service would not be asserting to the government or to anybody else that a full set of decisions is possible to be made about TransACT in the absence of a revised business plan. Mr Service is not so foolish a gentleman, he is certainly not so unastute a businessman, as to make that kind of assertion; so, with great respect, I think that you have twisted what Mr Service said in the newspaper this morning.
MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister and is in relation to the Williamsdale quarry. In the Canberra Times of Monday, 27 August, your office made the statement that the Territory Owned Corporations Act "required the Government to approve joint ventures"-with territory-owned corporations-"but did not permit it to approve the joint-venture partners". Did you approve of this statement? If so, why did you include specific joint venture partners as a condition in your letter of January 2000, which, of course, has been tabled in this Assembly?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, a statement made in my name made reference to the requirements of the Territory Owned Corporations Act. The Territory Owned Corporations Act is quite specific about what is required for governments to do to satisfy accountability to the Assembly. It is quite specific about that, Mr Speaker. Of course the government has fully complied with its requirements under the Territory Owned Corporations Act.
Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the ACT Government Solicitor, which was asked for an opinion about this matter and has tabled that opinion which clearly indicates that the government, Totalcare and the public servants who work for those bodies acted completely within the framework of the law. That is what the advice clearly says. It is backed up by advice from Mallesons, which indicates the same thing.
Mr Berry: No, it doesn't.