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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 922 ..


Mr Smyth: They are an advisory group; that is all.

MR STANHOPE: Let us hope they do it. It is a pity that Mr Osborne felt the need to move this motion. It would have been completely unnecessary if only the Government had respected the mechanisms that were put in place. I think that is the first part of the motion.

The second part is the amendment moved by Mr Hargreaves. It is one which, of course, we all support. I think the Minister's response to that was equivocal. He would love to defend the ACT milk industry, the vendors and those who have sunk their life savings into these businesses and can now see their life savings going out the window because the Government has not seen fit to defend them appropriately or to put into place some - - -

Ms Carnell: We will defend within the law. Do you want us to defend outside the law?

MR STANHOPE: No; we want you to develop a notion of public benefit that actually allows you to apply to have these things exempted.

Mr Smyth: The public benefit is addressed in the review. You can have it tomorrow.

MR STANHOPE: And we want the Minister to take these things a bit more seriously in the future and to stop being so flippant and boyish about his responsibilities to a major industry in this town.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.10): Mr Speaker, I would like to move the amendment that has been circulated in my name. Can I do so at this stage?

MR SPEAKER: You can foreshadow it.

MS CARNELL: The amendment reads:

After proposed paragraph (3) add the following new paragraph:

"(4) requires the Chief Minister to report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in August 1998 with a proposed model for such a council including a defined role, accountability arrangements and resource issues.".

Mr Speaker, as other speakers on this side of the house have said, we have no problems with Mr Osborne's motion; but I have to say to those opposite who believe that this body is exactly the same as the previous forum that it actually has significantly greater powers and, fairly obviously, the current Competition Policy Forum would be abolished if this new council were put in place, simply because the Competition Policy Forum has some of its terms of reference. The current forum is able to monitor and review, but it does not have the capacity to recommend that the new body would have. So I indicate that if this new body is set up we will move to abolish the old forum.

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