Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2451 ..

Mr Wood: You have exposed yourself. You have exposed it all.

Mr Stanhope: Dear me!

Ms Tucker: What are you afraid of here?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Settle down, please.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think we have seen today an example of the sort of process we are going to see on this committee. Shout down your opponents. Do not care whose interest you trample over, or whom you do not get to hear. Just shout as loudly as you can until your point of view prevails over others. Mr Speaker, what we have here is an illustration of why we should not do this; why we should approach this matter from the point of view of assessing the evidence now available before the community.

This community has no shortage of information about this proposal. The Government has placed extensive information on it. The views of most of those people who have commented on this issue with expertise in the field, either on the question of superannuation liability or on the question of the future of the trading position of this utility, are almost unanimous on the dangers facing us at the present time. I think that is more than enough reason to move as swiftly as the circumstances require to make a decision. That, Mr Speaker, is why I do not support the amendment.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (1.19): I have one very brief comment, Mr Speaker. I think the process revealed through this debate is one of the best examples I have seen since I have been a member of this place of how the Assembly can work appropriately to meet the concerns of members expressed during a debate. Ms Tucker moved a motion which this side of the house was happy to support. In the opening remarks from the Government, Mr Humphries gave his reasons as to why the Government would not support this motion. The crux of the Government's argument was that the committee would have on it, as representatives, a member of the Government with a fixed view and a member of the Opposition with a fixed view, and that there was little to be gained in a committee of that constitution deliberating on this issue.

Mr Osborne made a contribution to the debate and echoed those same concerns. He quoted Senator Bob Brown. He used Senator Bob Brown as a model on which he would base himself in relation to this motion. He accepted the proposition of Senator Bob Brown that perhaps a committee inquiring into a most significant matter where some of the players had a predetermined position was not all that helpful.

Amendments moved by, dare I say, Solomon, Mr Kaine, have been accepted by the mover of the initial motion. They have been accepted by every member of this side of the house and they are aimed precisely at the concerns expressed by Mr Humphries and the concerns echoed later by Mr Osborne. They meet the very concerns raised by the Government. The crux of their opposition has now been removed through the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .