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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 936..


Personal explanations

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, under standing order 46, I would like to make a personal explanation. In the course of question time, my name was referred to with respect to a motion supposedly being moved at the federal council of the Liberal Party this weekend which allegedly calls for the removal of the Aboriginal tent embassy. I want to read the motion which has been moved by the ACT delegation:

That Federal Council calls on the Federal Government to condemn recent illegal acts of intimidation, theft and vandalism by the occupants of the Aboriginal tent embassy.

Members will see that there is no reference in that motion-or, to my knowledge, in any other motion being moved at this weekend's council-referring to the removal of the Aboriginal tent embassy.

MS TUCKER: I would also like to make a personal explanation. I believe I was misunderstood by Mr Smyth when he was speaking to the matter of public importance. He summarised my position in a roundabout way. He said that I wanted to apply the precautionary principle and suggested that I was not supportive. I want to make it quite clear I have not said that. I have asked a series of questions and said we are still determining the exact position we should take on the matter.

Very fast train-feasibility study

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER (4.30): I have the media release on the land transport east coast very high-speed train scoping study by the Department of Transport and Regional Services. I will pick out a couple of things from it. The Greens are concerned and agree with Mr Hargreaves that it is a disappointment that the federal government decided to conclude its investigations into the possibility of a very high-speed train.

We did ask questions in this place about a number of aspects of this expenditure of public money and the best way to improve the rail system of this country, which we are supportive of. I also raised in this place questions about the process of the federal government when they were initially looking at it.

On the process point, I asked the federal government for a copy of the various analyses and feasibility studies that were done at the time, because I was particularly interested to see how comprehensive the environmental analysis and so on were. I was never able to see that work. That is a bad situation. I condemned it at the time and continue to do so. It is extremely unaccountable to have a closed process with such a major expenditure of public money.

As a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly, I would have thought I definitely had a right to look at that work, but I also think the general community should have a right to look at that work. Fair enough if you wanted to take out some of the economic costings because of the so-called commercial-in-confidence problem. Even that would have been


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