Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2686 ..
Mr Berry: Did you mislead the community or not?
MR SPEAKER: Order! We have been through this before. In fact, I recall that Mr Corbell himself took a point of order in an earlier debate. Whilst his name was not mentioned, he was associated with a matter that I think included you, Mr Berry. The effect of that was that we decided it was proper to link them. Therefore, I must be consistent.
Mr Berry: You have misunderstood my point, Mr Speaker. My point related to standing orders and the requirement for the answer to be concise, confined to the subject matter. The subject matter was whether the Chief Minister had misled the community or not. I am yet to hear an explanation for her on that call.
MR SPEAKER: I have already answered that matter.
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, can I address this point of order because members opposite are going to raise it continually throughout this answer? The question included the reference to Mr Stanhope accusing the Government of misleading the community by what he called "scaremongering" about the ACT's unfunded superannuation liability. I heard Mr Hird use those words, as, Mr Speaker, I am sure you did and as all of us did. The question was: Does this constitute an attempt to mislead Canberrans in the debate over ACTEW? Members had a chance to hear the question. It was about misleading in the context of what the Opposition has had to say. The answer that Mrs Carnell is giving is perfectly on the subject matter of the question.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, taking into account the fact that those opposite have now spent more time on the points of order than I have on the answer, it is no wonder the answer is going to take a bit of time. On 15 October Mr Corbell was at it again on ABC radio claiming that ACTEW was not able to bid for interstate electricity business. An hour later, ACTEW's chief executive was on air, telling Canberrans that ACTEW was able to bid for interstate contracts and had never been prevented from doing so. Then, while I was overseas, Mr Corbell ventured into print in the Canberra Times arguing that privatisation in Victoria had caused more power outages. Very quickly we learnt that reliability of supply had actually improved in that State since privatisation.
Then we come to Mr Berry and those wonderful little pamphlets that he has been handing out in recent days. Mr Berry is very proud that he has put out in this community thousands of pamphlets that are wrong. I would be ashamed. Mr Berry claimed in his brochure and on ABC radio on 10 November that, over the last five years, ACTEW has made payments to the ACT Government of over $450m. Between 1993-94 and last year, ACTEW actually returned about $285m, Mr Berry, so on that one you are $165m short.
Mr Moore: It's only $165m.
MS CARNELL: Yes, it is only $165m. Not to be outdone by rewriting history, Mr Berry tried to alter the future as well, claiming that ACTEW was going to make payments to the Government and profits totalling $500m over the next four years. This appears in the brochures that Mr Berry is so proud of. There are thousands of them out there and it is absolute rubbish. Yet current financial projections estimate that,