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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 1995) . . Page.. 311 ..


was going to give the Federal Government $13m towards infrastructure on Acton she did not have any written, signed, legally effective agreement on her desk saying, “Yes, we receive $13m and in exchange you get a Museum of Australia”. That did not happen then.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, a touch of relevance would be helpful in our understanding of the answer.

MR SPEAKER: I am listening carefully.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the arrangements adopted by the former Government at that point - - -

Mr Berry: I am sure that you are listening carefully, but a touch of relevance would be helpful.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure that you are bringing your response back to the issue at hand, Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: The relevance of my remarks is that the arrangement that is criticised in Mr Berry's question is exactly the same arrangement that Mr Berry and his Government applied when they were in office. I might point out that those sorts of arrangements are not just in relation to things like Acton. Take, for example, VITAB. When it came to VITAB, we never saw an agreement. We only had Mr Berry's word that there ever was an agreement. If Mr Berry wants to talk about binding agreements - and he asked us to table this agreement in the house - where is the VITAB agreement? We have been waiting 12 months for the VITAB agreement. We still have not seen it. Where is it?

Mr Berry: A bit of relevance, Mr Speaker? Just a touch?

MR SPEAKER: You asked about agreements, Mr Berry. I think it is reasonable that Mr Humphries, in answering your question, if he chooses, may make comparisons of that nature.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think that before the Opposition gets on its high horse about these matters it ought to examine its own record in this area.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Mr Humphries ought to note that, although I was cleared, they are yet to be cleared on this one, and it is a long way off yet. As Mr Humphries has made a lot of noise about the ordinariness of this, could the learned Attorney-General - I use the term “learned” advisedly - tell us where there are any precedents where a government press release can create a legally binding contract involving the transfer of interests in land? Stick to the facts. Can you think of one precedent?


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