Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 59 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, the Government decided to appoint an AAMI representative because of NRMA's decision to withdraw as local sponsor of Neighbourhood Watch. In the meantime, AAMI has become the insurance industry sponsor of the highly successful Crime Stoppers campaign in the ACT. I would have thought that was a fairly good basis for including AAMI in crime prevention activities in the ACT. Incidentally, since Crime Stoppers commenced in December of 1996, with AAMI's sponsorship, information provided has led to the arrest of 163 alleged offenders and the laying of 430 criminal charges. Illegal drugs, with a street value of $9.2m, have been seized, and a further $133,000 in cash and $34,000 worth of stolen property have been recovered - in part, through that sponsorship by AAMI.
So, Mr Speaker, let us get it clear. Mr Stanhope was wrong. He said that he did not want NRMA to withdraw from community activities in crime prevention. They, in fact, had already withdrawn from a local community safety and crime prevention scheme, namely, Neighbourhood Watch. I met with the State manager of the NRMA on 17 December to explain the Government's decision, and I said that I looked forward to NRMA's commitment to local crime prevention initiatives being restored. Indeed, the manager was very keen for NRMA to be involved on an ongoing basis with the ACT in a number of ways. It was quite appropriate that AAMI be appointed to the Crime Prevention Committee.
I can also advise, Mr Speaker, that AAMI has not made a donation to the ACT Liberal Party. It has made donations to the Federal Liberal Party; but they have been matched by donations to the Federal Labor Party - a fact which Mr Stanhope chose to ignore. So we could, equally, claim that AAMI was biased towards the Labor Party, could we not, on that basis, Mr Stanhope?
My office was told today by AAMI's public relations company, IPR Shandwick, that after Mr Stanhope's allegations were made during the campaign they contacted the then Leader of the Opposition, Mr Berry, and informed him of their concerns that Mr Stanhope had made those allegations. Mr Speaker, I am told by IPR Shandwick that Mr Berry apologised for Mr Stanhope's allegations and said, "I do not know anything about it". He was, apparently, embarrassed by the allegations. While today is the day when Mr Stanhope apologises to the people of Canberra for Mr Berry, it appears that it has already been the case that Mr Berry has had to apologise to AAMI for Mr Stanhope. This is a day for apologies all round, by the sound of it, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I call on Mr Stanhope, the Leader of the Opposition, to apologise for his slur on a reputable insurance company.
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. The Chief Minister, as Treasurer, has stated publicly that ACTTAB will make an operating loss in this financial year. Can the Chief Minister inform the Assembly what ACTTAB's operating result would be if generally accepted accounting principles were applied correctly? In other words, what is the true picture?