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Opposition members interjecting - . . Page.. 456 ..

MR CONNOLLY: I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for his absolute assurance that the price of water to Canberra ratepayers may not necessarily rise. What level of increase may or may not necessarily occur to Canberra ratepayers in order to bring water rates into line with profitable operations?

MR DE DOMENICO: The answer to the supplementary question is that, like the former Government on the other side of the chamber, we also support the concept of the user-pay principle.

Scarab Grubs

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Hird.

Opposition members interjecting -

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, did you call me for a question, sir?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I did.

MR HIRD: I am being rudely interrupted by that rabble across the way. I direct a question to the Minister for Sport and Recreation. The question concerns problems that certain constituents have raised with me. Can the Minister inform the Assembly of the effect that the current infestation of Argentinian scarab grubs is having on Canberra sportsgrounds?

Ms McRae: They are eating them.

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Hird. Ms McRae, you are quite right. They are indeed eating them. It has been suggested that I should sheet this problem home to the former Government. How these grubs got into the country is probably an immigration matter that lies fairly and squarely at the feet of the Keating Government.

Ms McRae: It sounds like a grubby story to me.

MR STEFANIAK: It is a grubby story; absolutely.

Mr Humphries: We are talking about the grassroots here, unlike you.

MR STEFANIAK: We are talking about the grassroots, but it is a quite serious problem.

MR SPEAKER: Order! One comedian at a time, please.

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