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I think the Opposition is quite forcefully suggesting, and trying to create in the public mind some belief, that these sorts of agreements cannot be reached until such time as documentation is exchanged. That is simply not the case. The Prime Minister himself, in his letter of 9 May, says very clearly:
Detailed aspects of the implementation of the agreement -
the thing you said was not an agreement; he was not making it, he was referring to it -
can be worked out at officials level.
That is the way things are done. You know that, Mr Connolly; you know that, Ms Follett; you know that, Mr Berry; and it is time you stopped pretending to the people of this Territory that shonky deals of some sort are being done. This is precisely the way that governments operate, and you know it.
MR CONNOLLY: Mr Speaker, you may have to rule that this is simply asking the question again, but I put it by way of a supplementary question because I still have not got an answer. Mr Humphries, at what point, if at any point, have you got advice to say that you have a binding agreement, a contract, something that is irrevocable, as opposed to a political understanding that can be reopened? Is there advice to that effect and, if there is, will you table it?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, nobody in the ACT Government has been asked to provide advice as to whether the agreement referred to by the Prime Minister in his letter is indeed an agreement. Nobody has yet been asked to provide that information because nobody in the ACT Government, whether in the Ministry or elsewhere, is so stupid as to imagine that they could not effect an agreement between those two governments otherwise than by exchange of comments and discussions between the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister. Nobody is that stupid. That is why nobody has asked for or sought such advice.
Tuggeranong Weather Station
MR KAINE: I have a question for Mr Humphries, the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. Minister, I noticed that last week you announced that the Government was progressing the development of a weather station in Tuggeranong. In fact, one of your officers gave a very comprehensive and professional briefing to the Tuggeranong Community Council last Thursday night on this issue, and the proposal seemed to be well received there. There has been a bit of huffing and puffing from the Opposition on this issue over the last few days. Minister, can you tell the Assembly what reaction you have had from the general community to the announcement about this matter?