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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (29 April) . . Page.. 160 ..


MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, yesterday just following question time, in response to a personal statement from me pursuant to standing order 46, you said that you would review the Hansard. Have you done so? If not, Mr Speaker, I have it in front of me and I can read it to you and persist with my personal explanation on the basis that I have been misrepresented.

MR SPEAKER: I have not yet done so because I have only just received the Hansard. I will advise in due course.

Discussion of Matter of Public Importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mr Corbell proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion, namely:

That the people of Canberra, through their representatives in the Legislative Assembly, give their approval for the sale of any Territory Owned Corporation prior to any such sale occurring, recognising that such Corporations are valuable assets owned by the people of the ACT and provide the community with significant social benefits through employment, revenue and effective, efficient services.

MR CORBELL (3.46): Mr Speaker, this is an issue of considerable concern to a wide number of people in the Canberra community. For that reason, we believe it entirely appropriate to debate it in the Assembly this afternoon as a matter of public importance. Mr Speaker, it is a matter which concerns many in our community that a number of valuable Territory-owned corporations could face the prospect of privatisation. It is of particular concern to 1,990 people who are employed directly by those corporations. That is a considerable number of people in our community. A considerable number of families of the people who are employed by those corporations and a considerable number of people in the wider society will be affected.

Mr Speaker, it is a concern for the wider community, because notions of privatisation and activities of governments - Labor and Liberal - which have led to privatisation have had a significant impact on the communities where that has occurred. It has led to significant job losses and a reduction in revenue.

Ms Carnell: Victoria got a AAA credit rating back this week.

MR CORBELL: You will get your turn, Chief Minister. Why do you not just be quiet for a little while? It has led to a reduction in revenue and, quite often, a reduction in public sector net worth. These are not contestable facts, Mr Speaker. They have been proved time and again wherever privatisation has occurred. Communities have another reason for being very concerned about proposals for privatisation, and that is where they occur to suit the whim of a particular government at a particular time, on many occasions

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