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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1664 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, if you make that assumption there is an even more obvious problem that the Labor Party has to face up to in its policy position in respect to this debate as well. They have a stated position, not merely the stated position of the members of this place but the stated party position, in opposition to the privatisation of ACTTAB. I quote from the Canberra Times of 28 June after the Labor Party conference of that weekend where this was reported:

The Labor Party's internal differences on privatisation emerged yesterday when the ACT branch conference was asked to support a resolution opposing the sale of government-owned assets.

Ms Carnell: All government-owned assets.

MR HUMPHRIES: All government-owned assets. This report went on to say:

Assembly Member Wayne Berry was alone among his parliamentary colleagues in opposing privatisation outright. His five Assembly colleagues ... supported the party's policy platform, which leaves the door open to privatisation in certain circumstances ...

The resolution passed by the conference said a Labor government would not privatise assets such as the ACTEW Corporation, Totalcare and ACTION buses.

Elsewhere in the debate we had Mr Quinlan speaking out for some flexibility, appealing for flexibility, but that was denied him by the Labor Party conference.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the position of the Labor Party is absolutely clear on that. Mr Corbell, I think, earlier this year, claimed that there is a window of opportunity there for the Labor Party to be able to privatise in certain limited circumstances. That window has been closed by the Labor Party's conference.

Mr Corbell: I would not treat you as an expert on Labor Party processes. I have never seen you at a Labor Party conference.

MR HUMPHRIES: You come in and table the document. Here is my $20, Mr Corbell. You have my $20 to get the policy. I will pay for the party platform. You tell me what the party platform says today about privatisation of ACTTAB. I will tell you what it says. I have not seen it, but I will tell you what it says. It says, "You will not privatise in any circumstance, in any way". Where does that leave the Labor Party when they see a report like this from a PKF consultant? Where does it leave them? It is their job, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, to denigrate the authors of this report and the process that produced it. They have to besmirch the report in order to have any chance of being able to rise in this place and argue for the position their party has put them into.

Mr Corbell: Nonsense.

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