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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1205..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

chair of this committee. That is not a radical concept. It is not a concept dangerous to democracy because it happens everywhere else in Australia without any real impact on democratic governance and oversight.

Further, the government is not even asserting a majority on the committee. There has been a claim that in some way the government is stacking the committee. If you stack a committee, you make sure that you have a majority. We all understand that and there would be ways of doing that if we wanted to do it. We could have just said that there will be three government and two opposition members and that is the end of the story. We could have done that. There was a range of options open to the government. But we chose not to do that. The government does not support the amendment.

MR SPEAKER: Order! In accordance with the motion passed by the Assembly for the suspension of standing orders, I will put Dr Foskey's amendment.

Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I have just consulted with the government whip and I understand that we will be suspending standing orders after the MPI this afternoon for the resumption of the debate.

MR SPEAKER: The question resolved by the house was that the standing orders be suspended to enable this piece of business to be concluded by 12.30 pm. I am bound by that.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance on that. That was not my understanding, but I appreciate there was a motion moved to facilitate the continuation of the debate until 12.30 pm. The government is quite happy to conclude this matter after question time and allow other members to speak on it if they so wish.

MR SPEAKER: I will resolve the situation by saying that I understand that it is the wish of the Assembly to suspend the sitting until 2.30 pm. That being the case, I will resume the chair at 2.30 pm.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

ActewAGL-Alinta—proposed merger

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. Chief Minister, AGL and Alinta are two listed companies, and each is involved in the generation, distribution and retailing of electricity and in the distribution and retailing of gas within Australia. AGL is also a joint venture partner with Actew in the electricity and gas distribution and retailing entity, ActewAGL.

Last Wednesday, AGL and Alinta announced that they would merge their businesses to create two separate entities. AGL Energy would contain each company's retail electricity and gas businesses, including that of ActewAGL; Alinta would contain each company's electricity and gas distribution assets, including the relevant assets of ActewAGL.


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