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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 338 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Berry has been running around talking about secret deals, talking about this being a shocking secret deal. Mr Speaker, will Mr Berry tell the house where he did the interviews on "Working Capital"? Where was he sitting? Where was Mr Berry on 19 November? Mr Speaker, Mr Berry and those opposite, including, I have to say, Mr Corbell, have run around about secret deals. Mr Berry was informed not once, but twice, on this deal, Mr Speaker. As far back as 26 September last year Mr Whitcombe fully briefed Mr Berry. But that was not enough, Mr Speaker. Mr Whitcombe actually took Mr Berry out to the property to show him the development. So, he was briefed twice on a secret deal. But Mr Whitcombe did not stop there.

Mr Berry: We are talking about the Cabinet decision, Kate. What about the Cabinet decision, the secret Cabinet decision?


MS CARNELL: I understand why they will not let me continue, Mr Speaker. Federal members Bob McMullan, Steve Dargavel and Kate Lundy were also put in the picture in September 1997. Mr Speaker, Ms McRae and Mr Berry, I understand, went out and actually had a look at the whole situation. In fact, Mr Berry did his interviews on "Working Capital" sitting in the back of Mr Whitcombe's four-wheel-drive while looking at this secret deal. Quite seriously, it is about time that Mr Berry started to put all of the information on the table. He has been running around on secret deals. How secret was the deal if he was actually out at the property, sitting in the back of Mr Whitcombe's four-wheel-drive, doing his interviews on the election?

Mr Stanhope: Why could they not get their facts straight? Why were you misled? Is OFM that incompetent?


MS CARNELL: I understand why they are trying to change the subject, Mr Speaker. That was before the Cabinet decision. Mr Whitcombe interviewed people, took out people who were interested, gave people - Liberal, Labor and crossbenchers - information on all of this before the Cabinet decision to go into a preliminary agreement. So much for a secret deal.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my supplementary question is again directed to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, is it not true that in fact you approached Mr Whitcombe and encouraged him to pursue this development?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have actually spoken to lots of developers over the last couple of years with regard to rural residential development. In fact, I have gone public on the issue.

Mr Berry: I take a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: Just a moment; there is no point of order. As far as I am aware, the Chief Minister is answering the question.

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