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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 2372 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the Government, I am sure, would like to be in my office when I prepare speeches on privatisation. The Government, I am sure, would like to see what sources I rely on when I talk in debates on privatisation, but they are not in my office to see what I prepare. They are not in my office to see what evidence I collect. Only if you accept Mr Humphries' proposition of what happened in my office when I prepared my arguments on privatisation can you accept that this censure motion has any strength to it whatsoever. The fact is that you cannot rely on that because they were not there. I have presented the information that I relied on.

Mr Humphries: The issue is the effect your words created, Simon, not your source.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, if we are talking about perception, we are putting the bar right down near the rubbish bin. We are not putting the bar up at that very high level at which the Government has put it before when attempts have been made in this place to censure them. It is interesting that the same standard does not apply when they attempt to censure someone on this side of the house.

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted for Mr Corbell to table that paper?

Leave granted

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.03): In the debate yesterday Mr Corbell said:

It was a staged process. Mr Speaker, in Victoria the rate of blackouts, power outages and power failures has increased under private ownership. The Office of the Regulator-General, which is the regulatory body in Victoria, has outlined the fact that the average time off supply ...

And so on. Mr Corbell did not refer to his source from which he drew that information from the Regulator-General - that is, the member from Victoria whose name slips my mind. I thought it started with an M. I presume the member was from Victoria. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that the argument that Mr Corbell is now putting is the argument that some of us will be tempted to use sometimes - that it was not what I prepared; it was what somebody in my office prepared and, therefore, I am innocent.

It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that what happened here is that an impression was created, deliberately created, that the privatisation in Victoria has meant that there has been a significant increase in outages. Mr Corbell, by drawing our attention to the material that he used, certainly has indicated that the matter - I think Mr Humphries would agree - is not as serious as if he had worked from the other document, but this does illustrate very clearly the sort of problem we have when somebody comes into the Assembly with inadequate sources, a member from Victoria, and provides that kind of information. It is important - - -

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