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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 225 ..

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, Mr Berry is doing what he has done many times before - apparently nothing has changed in this Assembly - that is, simply using points of order to restate a question. That is not what points of order are about. The Chief Minister has barely begun to answer the supplementary question and ought not to be put upon in that way.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I am sure the Chief Minister knows the supplementary question. Have you finished or are you finishing?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the initial question, as I remember, was that Mr Stanhope was concerned that a staff member of mine was quoted in the Canberra Times as saying that there were 90,000 people in the private sector and 60,000 people in the public sector in the ACT. Mr Stanhope wondered where those figures came from. Yesterday, I tabled the statistics to show that the figures that the 60,000 and 90,000 were based upon were actually 68,000 people in the public sector and approximately 87,000 in the private sector, which I did not think was all that different from 60,000 and 90,000. I have to say that I should have been a bit concerned because for us to underestimate the number of people in the public sector by 8,000 is probably something that we should not have done. It just shows you that the ACT employs many more public sector people than we thought. Mr Speaker, I do not think that anybody in the ACT - - -

Mr Corbell: Loose with the truth.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the figures were tabled yesterday. Poor old Mr Stanhope, after only a week in this place, is - - -

Mr Humphries: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Corbell, from the party that does not believe in personal invective, has accused the Chief Minister of being loose with the truth. I think that was the phrase he used. That is tantamount to saying that she is telling a lie, and he should be asked to withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: I did not hear it. If that is true, Mr Corbell, I ask you to withdraw it.

Mr Corbell: I withdraw the comment, Mr Speaker.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the figures that I tabled yesterday, of approximately 68,000 people in the public sector and 87,000 people in the private sector, are the figures that were the basis, I understand, of the comment made to the Canberra Times journalist of approximately 60 per cent to approximately 40 per cent. That is exactly what happened. Poor old Mr Stanhope should try to find some questions on issues that actually affect the people of Canberra.

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