Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2437 ..
MR KAINE: I formally move:
(1) After subparagraph (1)(a) insert the following new subparagraph:
"(b) other options considered by the Government, and the justification for their being discarded.".
(2) Renumber existing subparagraphs (b), (c) and (d) to (c), (d) and (e).
(3) Omit "the first sitting day of June 1999", substitute "the last sitting day of March 1999".
While I am on my feet, Mr Speaker, I will take the opportunity to ask Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne to reconsider their position. Mr Osborne made the point quite forcefully that in his view neither the Government nor the Opposition will change their minds. We have a situation where the Government is determined to sell and the Opposition is determined not to sell. That makes the opinion of the crossbenchers very, very important. Clearly, what happens will be what we four crossbenchers determine should happen. I would submit to Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne that that places upon them a very great imperative to be certain that they know all of the facts about this.
Mr Osborne sort of indicated that he had enough information and another inquiry would not help. Does he have all the information? I am quite open. I do not believe that I do. I am perhaps a bit better informed on some of these matters than other crossbenchers by virtue of having been in the Government for a year until January or February of this year. I have analysed the consultant's report in detail and I do not believe it presents the whole picture. It presents a view that we may or may not accept.
I think that Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne have an obligation to make sure, for the very reason that Mr Osborne stated, that they are fully informed and are capable of making an informed decision, because the way we vote will determine the outcome. It does not matter which way the Labor Party and the Liberal Party vote. The way we vote will determine the outcome. I think that is a very significant point. I ask Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke to reconsider, before they vote on this issue, whether or not they just might learn a bit more about these proposals by having a committee inquiry.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (12.26): I will speak briefly to the motion. As my colleagues have indicated, the Labor Party strongly endorses the motion and the need for an inquiry. There are a couple of issues that I do not think have been significantly or particularly well covered in the debate to date and I will raise them for the consideration, particularly, of Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne.
In the debate to date we have not concentrated on the rights of the people of Canberra, the rights of the residents of Canberra, to be empowered to participate in a formal way in the decision-making process that we are going through here. To this point in time the capacity for members of the community to participate in the public debate involves their capacity to write letters to the editor of the Canberra Times, in effect, and their capacity