Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3264 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Territory and the Territory's assets by not proceeding in that appropriate timeframe. It does reduce by 14 days the time in which the Assembly's select committee on superannuation has to work. I regret that. It would be nice to have a further 14 days. At the end of the day, though, the choice is between two things. It is a choice between the extra benefit and precision that may be embedded in the Assembly committee's report by having a further two weeks to consider its report and the possible risk we put the Territory's asset to by delay. It may well be that by early February there will not be any imminent changes in the marketplace that will impact - - -
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. The Minister is reflecting on a vote of the Assembly. The Assembly has already resolved on the issue of when the select committee should report and also on when a decision on the sale of ACTEW should be made. I would argue, Mr Speaker, that this whole motion is reflecting on a vote of the Assembly. The Assembly has made a decision on when this chamber should vote on the sale of ACTEW - - -
MR SPEAKER: When was that, Mr Corbell?
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, that was when the Assembly approved the select committee inquiry into superannuation liability. That is when that occurred, Mr Speaker. The first sitting - - -
MR SPEAKER: What dates are you talking about, Mr Corbell?
Mr Corbell: We were talking about the first sitting day in 1999. It was premised not on some sneaky changing of the day but on the first sitting day as agreed by the Assembly earlier that week, which was 16 February.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, there is no point of order. The Assembly has agreed on the first sitting day of 1999. What date that might be is entirely up to the Assembly. What is being put forward by the leader of the house is an alternative date to that agreed. There is nothing out of order at all in what Mr Humphries is doing. Proceed, Mr Humphries.
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank you, Mr Speaker. I have to say for the benefit of those opposite that this is the opposite of being sneaky. This is being up front and open with you. We have made it clear that we want to deal with this within a reasonable timeframe.
Mr Corbell: This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the decision of the Assembly two hours ago.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am trying to do the right thing by members by telling them as soon as we can that we want to fix a date which is capable of accommodating the concerns the Government has about this matter. I ask members to say to me what is so critical about those further 14 days. I have put on the table a reason for wanting to bring that date forward, namely, the allegation that there is serious exposure by the Territory to loss by having a sale - - -