Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (12 April) . .
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (12.02), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to the debate. There is going to be a lot of discussion about this in the coming months and I think these principles are an important basis for the ACT to enter into the discussions.
I apologise to Ms Lee for leading her to a position where she was forced to withdraw the term that she used. I was reminded, of course, of the standing orders that, in quoting somebody else—and I was quoting a former Prime Minister there—we should not use unparliamentary words. I forgot that was an unparliamentary word and I also withdraw my use of it.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Rattenbury.
MR RATTENBURY: My apologies to the house for that. It was a quote from a former Prime Minister.
If we are clarifying the use of words, I have never used the word "boycott". Others have chosen to interpret my remarks. What I have said is that the ACT could not sign up to the NEG in its current form. I expect, through the process of negotiation, it will change and that is what we are pressing for at the moment. I am hopeful, as I have been quoted in various press sources as well, that everybody will come to the table with some degree of flexibility. We have to get an outcome on this but we have to get a good outcome not just any old outcome. And that is where I think these discussions will go in the coming months.
Of course, I note that at the National Press Club yesterday the federal minister said that he intends to work with the states and territories to come to an agreement and then take it back to his party room. Sitting with that statement there is the prospect of a veto in the federal party room even if he manages to get all the states and territories on board. We will see how that turns out. I think there is going to be a lot of policy work, a lot of politics and a lot of posturing on this in the next few months but at the end of the day the bottom line here is that we get an outcome for the national electricity market.
What I can assure members is that I will be advocating for both the ACT's interests and the national interests in this debate over the coming months and I remain optimistic that we can secure both those interests through this process. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MADAM SPEAKER: Members, I want to welcome to the Assembly students and teachers from the ESL group from the Canberra Institute of Technology. Welcome to your Assembly.
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