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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2441 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Humphries has said that he will supply additional information should the crossbenchers seek it. We are happy to do that. What this debate has done, Mr Speaker, is show - - -

Mr Corbell: The member's time has expired.

MR SPEAKER: The member's time has not expired, Mr Corbell. He had six minutes left when we had to extend the debate.

MR SMYTH: Sad, sad, sad. They do not want to hear this, Mr Speaker. They have no intention of listening to this. The real ideologues, the true conservatives of the ACT, sit on the other side, and may they stay there for a long, long time.

Mr Speaker, this debate has prompted the need for increased legislation. In fact, several of the debates recently, and I refer to the ACTION debate, have shown that we need to put in place legislation to protect the rights of the residents, the consumers of the ACT, and we will do that. We will put into place a legislative base to guarantee their rights, and we will learn from other jurisdictions that have travelled this path.

There is no need for this inquiry. This inquiry is, I believe, simply a stunt to continue to ferment the pot of privatisation. It is the ideologues on the far side who do not want to be portrayed or seen as the true conservatives in this place, the no-change party. What this Government is about is moving ahead. It is about building a better city. It is about securing a base for the future. It is about not leaving debts for our children. It is about building the clever, caring city that Canberra can be, and we will do that. Part of that process will be the sale of ACTEW to cover liabilities that previous generations have incurred that we need to secure before we hand them on to our children. We will be opposing this motion.

MR CORBELL (12.39): I will speak to Mr Kaine's amendment. I am angry. I am very angry. For the people who have sat in this place for as long as I have been a member, which is not very long, and talk to this side of the house about how good they are at consultation, of how fervently and stridently they believe in the effectiveness of the committee system, of how they talk about integrating the committee system into the decision-making processes of this place, of how good that is for governance in the Territory, of how committed they are to it, and then to stand up in this place and say that it does not matter, that the people of Canberra can go and get stuffed, that they will make the decision and the people can just butt out is, I think, a disgrace, Mr Speaker. It is a down and out disgrace, particularly from people in this place who have come into it suggesting that they represent the interests of the people of Canberra.

They have signalled very clearly today, Mr Speaker, what they feel about the interests of the people of Canberra. They will say, "We will make the decision in a cosy little room behind closed doors". That is the sort of approach we have got from this Government, Mr Speaker, and those who have chosen to support them on this motion. I only hope that they will remain open to a range of other issues as this debate progresses.

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