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The Minister, dragged to the microphone on this issue, made an absolute fool of himself; he made an absolute galah of himself.

Mr Connolly: “I do not know; I do not care”.

MR BERRY: Yes - “I could not care less; I do not know; I am not interested. We have the numbers; you can all buzz off”.

Ms Follett: He could not answer a single question on it.

MR BERRY: He could not answer the questions, and still cannot, and we will get another round of it before the night is out. We will get another round of how much better it will be under corporatised ACTEW. Give us the numbers. You cannot give us the numbers because you do not have them. I think Mr Whitecross, in his contribution to the debate commenting on the consultation he had with officers concerned with this issue, amply demonstrated that there has not been a case made out, even in the minds of those who dearly love to support this proposal.

Labor is deeply concerned, on behalf of the community, that the Government would move down this path, flying in the face of its promise to consult and ignoring its previous commitment to the committee system in a way which, I think, will raise questions in the minds of the community. In the political sense people could say, “You should be laughing from the Opposition benches. You should say that this is going to damage the Liberal Party”. Maybe it will; but the issue of most importance to us is the survival of a strong and vibrant ACTEW, owned and controlled by a government that cares about the community. None of that will be achieved, on any examination of the figures that have been put forward by this lot opposite. They have not even had the energy to put forward an argument with any particular weight that would enlist any support from any direction. That is because it has all been about rhetoric.

If you have some figures, put them forward so that other people can examine them. You do not have them, so you cannot put them forward for other people to examine. You try to pull the wool over everybody's eyes with all the rhetoric, but you have not fooled us. You might have fooled some people, but you have not fooled us. If there were figures available to you, and if there were better pictures available to you about the future of ACTEW, I know that you would have wheeled them out by now; but you have not been able to do so. On any examination of the reporting of this issue, there is just no evidence. You would have us sitting back in our chairs thinking about this if there was a decent picture for us to support. Either it is incompetence or there just is not anything in it. You cannot win. It seems to me that you are not capable of presenting a decent image about the future of ACTEW under a corporatised model, a picture that is worth conveying to the people. Mr Whitecross made it clear that your officers were incapable of presenting a decent image of what you are on about. Certainly the two Ministers - the Treasurer and the Minister responsible - have been incapable of putting forward a decent picture. We will hear heaps of rhetoric from both of them. Mrs Carnell is adept at it, and Mr De Domenico uses the very old-fashioned type; but they are both hollow.

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