Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 2369 ..
MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries will certainly have the opportunity to respond. However, I would remind you, Mr Corbell, that, whilst Mr Berry is correct in how you wish to defend yourself, I leave that to your good judgment.
MR CORBELL: Thank you for upholding my point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Humphries suggested that I had misquoted a figure and that figure was 207 minutes. He said it should be 203 minutes. That is what Mr Humphries says in his media statement.
Mr Humphries: But not in the Assembly.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, if the Government will allow me to continue in the debate, I will outline how this is relevant to the motion before the Assembly. This shows two things, Mr Speaker. First of all, Mr Humphries had not looked at the Office of the Regulator-General's annual report. If he had he would know that his assertion was wrong. Indeed, he came and spoke to me earlier today. I told him it was wrong, but he still continued to make statements about this out in the media as late as lunchtime today. Mr Speaker, the figures that Mr Humphries has tabled here from the Office of the Regulator-General clearly demonstrate that he himself was wrong. It was not 203 minutes as he asserts in his media release of this morning; it was 207 customer minutes of supply in 1995. Wrong, Gary; wrong. The comments I made yesterday were absolutely correct, absolutely accurate. Mr Speaker, the comments I made yesterday indicated that the Office of the Regulator-General has outlined that the average time off supply, power failures, or outages per customer per year has increased from 207 minutes in 1995 to 218 minutes. Those figures are correct. Those figures are accurate.
Mr Humphries is basing this entire censure motion on what he thinks happened in my office when I put that letter together and when I prepared my statements for the Assembly yesterday. But he does not know. If he did know he would not have moved this censure motion. In no way did I deliberately mislead this Assembly yesterday. In no way did I do so. But that is the assertion that Mr Humphries is making.
For the record, I relied on a document called "The Victorian Electricity Industry: The Social Costs of Privatisation". It is a background paper prepared by Mr Peter Loney, MLA, the shadow Minister for Energy and Resources in Victoria, and it is dated August 1997. The document, on page 10, has a chapter called "Quality of Supply", and I relied on the following comment:
In any event, between 1995 and 1996, under private ownership, average time off supply actually increased from 207 minutes to 218 minutes per year (Office of the Regulator-General, Electricity Performance Report, June 1997).
That, Mr Speaker, is what I relied on. I had checked that that figure was correct and it is. I did not mislead this house. It is an absurd suggestion to say that I did. Mr Speaker, if that is the sort of pathetic attempt that this Government is going to try to throw across this place - - -