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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4725 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

All of this nonsense about the refurbishment costs is merely a diversion from the real issue. The Government has made up its mind to sell the asset; there is no question about that. Listening to Mrs Carnell's speech, anybody from outside would have wondered why she even issued the call for expressions of interest. It sounded as if she had absolutely no interest at all in selling the building or doing anything with that site and that we were all being a bit silly with our reservations, if you like, about these expressions of interest.

I have heard Mrs Carnell say "Trust me" before when it comes to health services, and I do not. I have seen the wreckage of a health centre and I have seen bulk-billing doctors and private doctors leave health centres because of the instability that has been created in those areas. I have decided that the best way to deal with these things is to get a motion on the floor here, test it before the Assembly, test the Assembly's attitude. Bear in mind that many of the Assembly members have seen what has happened in the past. They have heard the honeyed words but they have seen actions that do not mirror those honeyed words. Understandably, people are a little concerned about the difference between what was said in the past and what happened. Many of us take with a grain of salt the honeyed words we hear from time to time on many issues.

Nothing has changed in relation to Mrs Carnell's attitude to this building. As I said a little while ago, a passer-by hearing Mrs Carnell speak would wonder why she had even called for expressions of interest because it would appear that she was never going to do anything to the building. I am not prepared to sit back without a strong motion making it very clear to the Government that the members of the Assembly are, at best, very reserved about her position. Many of us strongly oppose it because we think it is part of a Liberal ideology that has nothing to do with the provision of services to the community. In fact, the community do not even count. They think we live in an economy, not a society. Mr Speaker, this is worthy of endorsement by all members of this Assembly.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.


MR BERRY (4.26): Mr Speaker, I move, pursuant to standing order 223:

That Mr Hird and Mr Osborne be discharged from the Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation for the Committee's consideration of the Land Acquisition (Northbourne Oval) Bill 1996 and that Mr Moore and Mr Kaine be appointed in their place.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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