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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 May 1995) . . Page.. 637 ..


have initiated to produce new office accommodation for DELP. We are going back to the drawing boards and starting again.”? No, there was not. These people opposite fully intended to put the DELP building elsewhere than Gungahlin because they knew that they could not provide it in Gungahlin in the timeframe available. They are the facts.

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. It is interesting that the Minister, Mr Humphries, seems to be contradicting his Chief Minister, who was talking about tenders, very definitively, and now he comes back to expressions of interest, which is, as he said, rather different. I want to refer further to that approach from the Chamber of Commerce and that area in which they said to the Minister, “Had you consulted this chamber before making your decision we could have discussed it with you”. Mr Humphries, do you intend to talk to your communities, as you have so often said?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, what a stupid question! How am I supposed to describe what was in the minds of the former Government when they made the decision not to put DELP in Gungahlin? You people called for the expressions of interest. You people received the expressions of interest, which had no indication of Gungahlin. If you had been honest and up front at the time, you could have told the people in the Mitchell-Gungahlin Chamber of Commerce - - -

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I think “If you had been honest” is a clear imputation and it ought to be withdrawn.

MR HUMPHRIES: I withdraw, Mr Speaker. If those people opposite had been prepared to tell the people of Mitchell-Gungahlin what was going on at the time, what they had done with their own tender process, they could have advised those people that there was no chance of Gungahlin being used as a base for that accommodation. Rather than Mr Wood asking me why it was not possible and why I have not told the Mitchell-Gungahlin Chamber of Commerce that it was not possible, he should explain why he did not tell the Mitchell-Gungahlin Chamber of Commerce why it was not possible to put that building in Gungahlin.

Mr Speaker, this Government is committed to providing government-owned accommodation for as many public servants as is appropriate, and, in particular, to providing government-owned accommodation for government departments in Gungahlin. That will be provided at the appropriate time when the infrastructure is available to do it. Plopping buildings in the middle of empty fields is not good commonsense, and we are not a government that goes down that stupid path.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

Mr Humphries: It is done at the end of question time, as a rule.

MR SPEAKER: I can allow this and I will be happy to do so. Then I will call Mr Kaine.


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