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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2798 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

These issues, considered together, will not only assist the Government and the corporation in determining the necessary incentives to improve efficiencies but also provide added reassurance to consumers that they are getting services at the best possible price. Mr Speaker, this independent review, together with the accountability framework established under the Territory Owned Corporations Act 1990, will form the basis of the Government's report to the Assembly in 12 months' time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I want to take a point of order in relation to your ruling on Ms Tucker's personal explanation under standing order 46. I thought I heard you rule that that was not a personal explanation. I want to take issue with you or, rather, ask you to explain your reasons. As I understand standing order 46, a member must seek leave from the Chair, which Ms Tucker did and received, and the member may explain matters of a personal nature, although there is no question before the Assembly. On this occasion Ms Tucker, it seemed to me, was explaining very clearly that she believed she had been misunderstood, in that she had requested documents from the Chief Minister, not a briefing. The standing order goes on to say that such matters may not be debated. They were not debated. I put it to you, Mr Speaker, that that indeed does constitute a valid personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Follett, I have no argument with your point that the matter was not being debated. However, I did not regard Ms Tucker's statement that she did not want a briefing, she wanted documentary evidence, necessarily as a personal explanation. I think the decision probably hangs on the word "personal". I do not see that it is a particularly difficult problem, though, and I am sure it can be sorted out with the Chief Minister. If she wants the information, she will, no doubt, obtain it in the manner in which she would like to receive it. But I did not believe, and I still do not believe, that it is a matter of a personal nature.

Ms Tucker: The personal explanation was that I, personally, had been misunderstood. I had asked for something specific and Mrs Carnell responded. It seemed that I had been misunderstood because she was offering me a briefing and I do not want a briefing. I have had many briefings.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure that we have established just what you want at the moment, Ms Tucker.

Mrs Carnell: Mr Speaker, I am very happy to respond in writing, if that is necessary. I just thought a briefing would be more useful than a response in writing. I am really quite calm about it.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Chief Minister. Is that satisfactory, Ms Tucker?

Ms Tucker: Thank you.

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