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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1843 ..

MR BERRY (8.50): I want to raise some issues about the Estimates Committee, and I particularly want to raise evidence given to the committee and the manner in which it was given. I have to draw attention to the Minister where he was disinterested in ensuring that his officers answered the questions which were put to them by committee members. I have a handful of pages here where the head of Urban Services was involved in questioning before the committee, and I think the kindest description one could give it is that it was most artful. Let me deal with a few of these episodes. This is going to take a while. Mr Osborne put this question:

Mr Gilmour, I mean really it is - I think it is a valid question. It is not - - -

Mr Moore: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I take a point of order. I remind Mr Berry that there has been a convention established in this chamber whereby we are very reluctant to identify public servants and to pillory them. I take this opportunity to remind Mr Berry of that convention.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): I bring that to the member's attention. I know, Mr Berry, that you were chairman of the Estimates Committee and you are reading from a transcript, but would you bear that in mind?

MR BERRY: This is all information that is on the record now, so there is nothing new in this. Mr Osborne continued:

It is not like it was a question that was asked once in the Assembly, it was something that was repeatedly asked and yet it appears that no-one from PALM contacted the Government and said, "You are saying the wrong thing. You should be saying block not lease".

Mr Gilmour said:

Well, I think - I need to repeat what ...

Mr Moore: Can you speak up? I am having trouble hearing.

MR BERRY: I will get closer to the microphone. Mr Gilmour said:

Well, I think - I need to repeat what the Minister has said because it is really quite important to this and that is that the Chief Minister has answered these questions and has responded.

That was a typical response which was given to further pressing questions on that subject. On the next page Mr Gilmour said:

Well, I think that is what I wanted to go back to what I originally said. I think the Chief Minister actually addressed these issues when she was questioned about these matters in the Estimates Committee and I believe that is all the ...

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