Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1665 ..
MR HUMPHRIES: So far the evidence is pretty clear. You have put conspiracy theories on this table already several times today, Mr Corbell. Let us look at a conspiracy theory of mine. We have already seen the scoping study on ACTEW by Fay Richwhite. There was a litany of allegations, none of them substantiated, incidentally, against Fay Richwhite in this place, under the protection of privilege, which you were not prepared to repeat outside this place. You used the cowardly opportunities available to you here. We have now seen PKF Consulting given the same treatment: "Oh, they had associations with Mr Morison. They have been given some brief to do certain things". The Labor Party cannot produce any proof of this, but it is all true, apparently. We have ABN AMRO coming out very soon with further work on ACTEW. What are you going to say about that? What are you going to say about that, Mr Corbell?
Mr Corbell: We will wait and see what it says.
MR HUMPHRIES: I think I know, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. The fact is that these people cannot sustain their position on privatisation unless they attack the messengers. The reports done in these cases are fairly clear. They sound timely warnings for the ACT Government and they need to be heeded in this debate.
Let me say one thing very clearly to this house. A premise in that dichotomy between the imperatives falling on the Labor Party and the Liberal Party in this debate is wrong. The Liberal Party does not have an absolute priority to privatise ACTTAB. In fact, I will put on the record very clearly in this place my views about this matter. This is very much a case of exploring the views of the stakeholders in this debate.
The Chief Minister and I had a round table with those stakeholders a couple of weeks ago. We listened to their views and we made it clear to them that the resolution of this debate was in their hands. If all of the stakeholders in this debate say that they do not want privatisation, I have no doubt that this Government will not even consider the question of privatisation. If all of the stakeholders around that table call for privatisation we will almost certainly privatise ACTTAB. If some combination of those people support and some oppose, if there are some stakeholders calling for it to happen and some not, we will have to cross the bridge then. We will have to decide whether this is worth doing or not. But we do not take the position that ACTTAB must be privatised come what may. I hope Mr Corbell will be prepared to eat his words if it transpires that we do not, in fact, privatise ACTTAB. We want to look at the evidence of what is happening in this Territory and around Australia in respect of gaming and betting. The market is changing dramatically and quickly, and we have accepted the imperative to see what is going on within that framework.
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the earlier debate Mr Corbell suggested that PKF had ignored the views of other people who had made submissions to the inquiry; that they had ridden roughshod over those views and they had published what they wanted to publish all along. I want to table a letter from PKF Consulting in which they systematically go through the various submissions that were made to them. They identify the views that were raised in the review and they summarise the way in which they have picked up the issues that the submitter made to their inquiry. They have incorporated that into their submission to the Government.