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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1057 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

to pull out of the deal, by phone. That is exactly the same series of events as we have put on the table before. That was finally put in place with a termination of the preliminary agreement. Mr Speaker, I wonder how often you can answer the same question in this place put marginally differently.

Mr Corbell: Until you answer it openly and honestly.


MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I ask Mr Corbell to withdraw any implication that there was any lack of honesty in any answer that I have given.

MR SPEAKER: Please withdraw, Mr Corbell, if there was any inference - - -

Mr Corbell: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much. Mr Speaker, with regard to the preliminary agreement that was entered into, as I have said on many occasions, the reason we entered into a preliminary agreement with Mr Whitcombe was to work through all of the issues - planning, environmental and legal issues - all the things that needed to be sorted out before a joint venture - - -

Mr Corbell: One lease, not three. Who pulled out, and when?

MR SPEAKER: Order! You have asked your question, Mr Corbell, and a supplementary question.

Mr Corbell: And I am not getting an answer, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: That is not my problem.

Mr Corbell: It is certainly mine.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister is giving you a reply.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, Mr Corbell asked two questions, as I understand it. He asked about the legal advice and he asked about the termination of the agreement. The answers I have just given relate to the termination of the agreement and the legal advice - exactly the questions Mr Corbell asked, Mr Speaker.

We entered into the preliminary agreement, rather than entering into a joint venture right up front, in order to determine such things as the legal status of leases, the legal advice and so on. All that was done. It turned out, Mr Speaker, that Mr Whitcombe was not bringing the three leases that he initially thought he was. At that stage, Mr Whitcombe pulled out of the agreement, and a termination to the preliminary agreement was put in place. The $150,000 - actually, it was not $150,000 but, I think, $110,000 - or whatever it ended up being, represents work that will be used, as we plan to go ahead. The money that was spent is money that will be very useful to the Government, as we plan to go ahead with rural residential development.

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