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Assembly on the previous occasion, advise the Assembly of the progress of those negotiations, and anything that I tentatively agree or my officers tentatively agree with ANCA will be put before this Assembly for its approval.
MR BERRY: Thank you, Minister. I do have a supplementary question. It is against the background that approaches were made by this organisation, ANCA, or those that preceded it, in 1973 and they were given the A, and in 1985 and they were given the A; but they believe that it is a lay down misere this time. On that basis, would you deny, Minister, that a memorandum of understanding is being prepared for operation between the Government and ANCA? If you cannot deny that, would you please explain why you have not consulted with members of this Assembly at the contemplative stage in the development of that MOU?
MR HUMPHRIES: Dear, oh dear, Mr Speaker! Goodness me! There is - - -
Mr Berry: Well, deny it. Just say yes or no.
MR HUMPHRIES: I will not deny it, because there is a document called a memorandum of understanding being drafted at the moment that is the basis for discussion between those two agencies; but I am not going to sign it until this Assembly approves it, as I undertook some three weeks ago.
Ms Follett: Why did you not volunteer that information?
MR HUMPHRIES: Because I have only just been asked the question; that is why. Mr Speaker, the Opposition are trying to beat up what is very good news for the ACT into something which should be a matter of concern in the community. I think $500,000 for the ACT to spend on Namadgi is bloody good news, to be quite frank, and I am surprised that those opposite are not particularly prepared to acknowledge that fact. You have been caught out. We have managed to get a better deal, potentially, for the ACT, and you people are complaining. For goodness’ sake, Mr Speaker! Yes, there is an MOU document which is being discussed between the two parties. Senator Faulkner has given his blessing to those discussions taking place.
Mr De Domenico: Who?
MR HUMPHRIES: Senator John Faulkner. He is the Federal Labor Minister for the Environment. He indicated in his discussions with ANCA officers that he prefers that it happen on a non-political basis. It is a pity that his colleagues here did not hear that view.
Ms Follett: Why did you not tell us about it?
MR HUMPHRIES: Because you have only just asked me the question; that is why. Mr Speaker, as I promised when this debate occurred last time, I will come back to this place and I will put those documents on the table before they are signed, not afterwards, and I will ask the Assembly to approve them, as I undertook. Nothing has changed from that undertaking given to the Assembly three weeks ago.