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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2747 ..

Tuesday, 24 November 1998


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make an explanation of a personal nature under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR QUINLAN: The Canberra Times of Saturday last included a report that my office had issued to my colleague Mr Berry some misinformation; more precisely, figures that included a double-count amongst various elements of revenue generated by ACTEW. The report is, unfortunately, correct. My office did prepare a table for Mr Berry that, effectively, double-counted dividends provided and projected. I take full responsibility for that error, because it originated from my office. The figures at no time passed through my hands and I knew nothing of them until I followed up after the Chief Minister had the good grace to telephone me on Friday last, and I thank her for that courtesy.

The error in the figures was so basic that no-one could imagine that it represented an attempt to mislead. It was the most obvious and fundamental of mistakes in a simple spreadsheet. I wish to register my regret regarding the matter, particularly as it has more than undone an effective grassroots campaign conducted by Mr Berry in his electorate of Ginninderra and it may turn out to distract from the very serious question as to what we are forgoing if ACTEW is sold off. I repeat that I knew nothing of the particular figures until Friday of last week. I do have one very contrite staffer who has otherwise been performing exemplary work. Thank you, Mr Speaker, and thank you, members.

Report on the Annual and Financial Reports for 1997-98

MR BERRY (10.33): Pursuant to order, I present the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 1998-99 on annual and financial reports for 1997-98, together with extracts from the minutes of proceedings, and I move:

That the report be noted.

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