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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1291 ..

Mr Humphries: Well, if it is in a speech, yes.

MR CORBELL: And he confirms it now by saying, "If it is in a speech, yes". Mr Speaker, you would think that, under sustained questioning from an Opposition that is obviously concerned about it and from significant concern in the community directly affected by it, the Minister would go back and check to make sure that what he was saying was right. Would you not think that, when you get continued questioning from the Opposition on an issue, you would check your facts, just to make sure? Would you not think that someone with, obviously, the undoubted intelligence of Mr Humphries would have checked? But they did not check. Mr Speaker, they did not check at all.

Mr Humphries suggests that one of the documents quoted this afternoon by the Opposition, the letter he wrote on 14 August to Mr Bill Kearney, who is the president of the Hall and District Progress Association, answered the questions that Mr Kearney asked - no more, no less. I indicated in the debate earlier today that I would table documents associated with that letter. Thanks to the assistance of the clerks, they have indicated to me that the letter has been tabled but the map attached to the letter has not. I seek leave now to table that document.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I thank members. That is the map that Mr Humphries sent to Mr Kearney. The map clearly shows block 630, but it also shows all the other blocks of land that are in the area where Kinlyside or the Hall rural residential estate would have been built. You would think, would you not, Mr Speaker, that the Minister would have received a brief with that document and that brief would have explained what the letter was about, why he was signing it, and it would have explained the situation of the other leases surrounding it. Clearly, we are meant to accept the Minister's arguments that that was not the case, that that did not happen. It is beyond credulity for them to suggest that. It is absolutely beyond that.

We have had the argument from Mr Humphries this afternoon that they did not deliberately mislead the house, because to deliberately mislead would be stupid. Mr Speaker, I have to say to you that this Government is stupid - arrogant and stupid - because they assumed that no-one would check. They assumed that no-one would look into this issue. They put forward an argument that said the deal was entered into because Mr Whitcombe brought three blocks of land to the negotiation.

Ms Carnell: They brought all of Hillview.

MR CORBELL: They brought all of Hillview to the negotiation - the three blocks of land. That was the reason that was given and, when the three blocks of land were not there, that was the reason they got out of the deal. Mr Speaker, you would think maybe they would have thought about this a bit. Maybe they thought this issue was something which could be seen as a bit strange, maybe even a bit shonky. Maybe someone might make that unfair suggestion. Maybe they needed to have a look at that. Mr Speaker, they did. They recognised from the beginning that they knew it was a problem, and I will provide evidence to prove this.

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