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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 2394 ..

Mr Berry: You cannot do a thing without us, Ossie.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry! Your leader earlier today said that speakers from the end of the chamber were inaudible. If your interjections continue, Mr Berry, the appropriate action will be taken.

MR OSBORNE: Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. You look very good in that chair. We are sending a very clear message from the crossbench that we want information that is reliable. We do not want a succession of grandiose statements from either side. This is a very important issue for the people of Canberra, and we would appreciate both major parties taking a deep breath and coming up with something that is helpful to us so that we can make an informed decision. We are sending a very clear message to the Labor Party and the coalition that we on the crossbench expect more.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.24): The two censure motions previously discussed in the term of this Assembly have ranged from spurious to serious. I must make a judgment on the quality of this particular censure motion in the light of the seriousness of those previous ones. Having heard Mr Humphries' answer to a question without notice today regarding the fudging of figures, it seems that the benchmark that this Government sets and uses to justify fiddling with the figures is whether or not the fiddling occurs in the Assembly chamber or outside the chamber. Therefore, I must also take that notion into account when deciding the validity of this censure motion.

I did hear the speech given by Mr Corbell, and I must say that it is wise to take with a grain of salt statistics quoted during emotive speeches, knowing that statistics can be interpreted in any way the speaker wishes. Having been apprised of the complete picture given by the statistics, it is apparent that the selective use of statistics on this occasion has at least confused the issue and has perhaps given members in this chamber a false impression of the intent of the statistics. I call on Mr Corbell to recognise that perhaps there has been a misleading on his part and to have the courage to apologise. Stand up and apologise now to this Assembly before a division is called and the vote is taken.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.26): I wish to make one very brief comment on Mr Osborne's amendment and his speech just now. He mentioned the importance of the debate. I think we all recognise that the sale of ACTEW is a very important issue. I acknowledge that Mr Osborne has just indicated that it is an extremely important debate and he awaits with interest a continuation of the debate and the continuing participation of the Labor Party and the coalition in that debate. Mr Osborne also acknowledged the significant role which the crossbench will play in the final decision. Of course, we all recognise that, and I think the people of Canberra recognise that.

I understand that Mr Osborne has been on leave, but I think the people of Canberra are not only interested in the perspectives that the Labor Party and the coalition bring to this debate but also are waiting anxiously for a contribution from all members of the crossbench to the debate. I respond to Mr Osborne by saying that I think the people of Canberra are looking to you, Mr Osborne, and to Mr Rugendyke to participate actively in this debate, and they would be very interested in your perspectives on this very important issue. I accept the things you have said, Mr Osborne, but I think that is a reasonable response to your comments.

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