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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1654 ..

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

MR CORBELL: I seek a brief extension of time, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Is leave granted for a short extension?

Ms Carnell: You cannot have an extension in an MPI.

Mr Humphries: No. We have a convention about that. We do not have extensions in MPIs. That is a longstanding rule in this place.

Leave not granted.

Mr Corbell: Obviously the Government are uncomfortable on this issue. I commend the MPI to the Assembly.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: We will not debate it.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.08): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think the two key words contained in Mr Corbell's MPI, which I do not think he spoke an awful lot about, were the words "independent" and "impartial". Mr Corbell has claimed that the scoping study undertaken on behalf of the Government was neither independent nor impartial. That is what this MPI debate comes down to.

Let us look at the facts, bearing in mind that this is the same MLA who accused the Government of tampering with the report because we were somehow not satisfied with the findings. So much for the track record here of Mr Corbell. Mr Corbell claims that we appointed a stooge, or something, to provide the answers that the Government wanted all along. That is what he said. Mr Corbell has said, quite categorically, that PKF totally ignored the terms of reference, the basis of their contract with the Government, and produced what the Government asked them to do. To start with, that would be a totally inappropriate - - -

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker: I seek leave to make an explanation under standing order 47.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell, that is not a point of order. You know, as well as the Chair, that you can take the appropriate action at the end of the debate.

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. You just cannot have it both ways. You cannot have it both ways, even if Mr Corbell thinks he can. I recall that not that long ago Mr Berry made similar unfair and incorrect allegations about the Fay Richwhite consultancy on ACTEW, and today in question time those opposite were questioning ABN AMRO. At the end of this parliament I think we will have ruled out every consultant in this country.

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