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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 2371 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Let us have a look, Mr Speaker, at some of the other things in testing the credibility of the Government on this issue. We had the Chief Minister make some comments two weeks ago in which she said that competition had done a terrible thing to ACTEW. It had made it lose 175 major customers. You do not like it do you, Gary? You do not like it when we stand up in this place and highlight the fact that your Government has deliberately misled people in the community.

Mr Humphries: I take a point of order. Mr Speaker, I am quite happy to have a debate about other issues that might be misleading or an abuse of members worthy of censure, or whatever Mr Corbell wants to do, but this debate is about his comments. To cite illustrations where other members have, in his view, misled the Assembly is not relevant to that.

MR CORBELL: It is nonsense. Mr Humphries has already raised this point of order and you have indicated that we can use whatever arguments we believe in defence of this censure motion.

MR SPEAKER: No, it has to be relevant.

MR CORBELL: Absolutely relevant, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: No, just a moment. It is not yet relevant. I am aware that there is an amendment being put forward which can be addressed once the amendment is moved. But, until that time, it is not relevant.

Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, speaking to Mr Humphries' point of order, what he just said was incorrect. He said that this was about what Mr Corbell said. The document that he presented had nothing to do with what Mr Corbell said, so, by his own act, he has broadened the debate.

MR SPEAKER: But he does not broaden it to the extent of comments made by the Chief Minister on another matter. Mr Corbell, please be guided. I uphold the point of order.

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Kaine for his comment because he is absolutely right. If we accept that I did what the Government suggests I did, then of course the censure motion is credible, but the reality is that I did not do what the Government said I did. In fact, I did not do what Mr Humphries suggests that I did. If 175 major customers is not relevant when we are talking about figures and debates about privatisation in this place, then perhaps, Mr Speaker, you should reflect on your ruling that Harcourt Hill was relevant in relation to the Kinlyside censure motion which occurred a couple of weeks ago. Mr Speaker, you need to be consistent in your rulings. Nevertheless, the reality is that the figures we put forward in the debate yesterday were accurate. They were quoted accurately. They relied on credible sources of information, information that we have made openly available in this place and which I have just tabled.

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