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I and my Labor colleagues have indicated that we are going to be supportive of the Greens position in relation to this. It is a sound proposal. It is about community consultation. It is about demonstrating to the community that when you say that you stand for consultation and openness you mean it, not like the Liberals. The Liberals, since the last election, even though they promised and promised that they stood for consultation and an open, consultative, council style of government, have not demonstrated it. Here is their chance, and it looks as though they are not going to demonstrate it again. You have been hearing about it for five years. All we have heard is rhetoric from Mr De Domenico, and Mr Kaine is stinging because he lost the battle last time. We now have an opportunity to open it up and let the community have a say.
MS HORODNY (4.34), in reply: Mr Speaker, Mr De Domenico has highlighted the difference between the Greens and the Liberal Party. When the Greens talk about consultation we mean informed debate, not salesmanship. We want to see the facts, not the advertising. Mr De Domenico may well like the idea of trying to sell people things before there is any real debate on the issue. Unfortunately, Mr De Domenico did not outline exactly what he means by consultation. I suspect that his idea of consultation differs greatly from our views and, indeed, the views of most of the Canberra community.
I understand that the Conservation Council, which represents 47,000 people in this region, was not able to get a meeting with Mr De Domenico and was able to get a meeting with Mr Humphries only after underlining the importance of this issue. A five-minute discussion of the Conservation Council’s views ensued and the Minister’s response after that was, “We are going ahead with the corporatisation, but we will consider any amendments that you may want to draft”. That is not consultation. If Canberra residents feel confident about this legislation, why have our telephones been ringing constantly over the past two weeks in support of a better process to deal with all the concerns that we have raised? I will repeat the names of the groups that have said to us that they want this issue to go to a select committee. They are the ACT Council of Social Service, the Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra, the Youth Affairs Network, the Tenants Union, the Belconnen Community Council, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Solar Solutions, Solahart Industries, the Sustainable Energy Industries Council of Australia and Advanced Control Technologies.
Mr De Domenico kept saying that the unions had not been consulted by the Greens. We have talked to the unions. We have talked to them extensively. I would draw Mr De Domenico's attention to their press release saying that the TLC meeting accepts in principle the corporatisation of ACTEW; however, the TLC's position is that the date of corporatisation of ACTEW should coincide with the registration of a new enterprise bargaining agreement, and that would be 1 January 1996, which is not quite what Mr De Domenico was trying to say. Mr De Domenico said that there have been briefings with Dr Sargent and other ACTEW executives. There was no discussion about the pluses and minuses of corporatisation. When we asked about a cost-benefit analysis, there was not one. When we asked how Canberrans would benefit, we were given rhetoric. If there has been research, where is the evidence? Mr De Domenico says that the community are aware of what this issue is about and are happy about the corporatisation of ACTEW. The number of phone calls that we have had and groups that have responded in a written form to us to support this select committee suggests that that is not true. I repeat that the Greens are not opposed to the corporatisation of ACTEW;