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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3271 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

I agree with Mr Quinlan's point that every dog in the street knows that the Government intends to sell ACTEW and that the deal has been done, so to speak; but we are agreed that there will be a committee, and there was an agreement between us, the crossbenchers and others that the reporting date for the committee would be the first sitting day in 1999, then set at 16 February. There has not been a proposition advanced that would cause us to change our view in relation to the agreement that we reached. We will stick to the agreement. We think it is the right thing to do. We would have preferred the committee to report later because we thought the committee needed more time to consider the issues which it had to consider in the context of the proposed sale of ACTEW.

Mr Speaker, to confirm that proposition, I have circulated an amendment which might be considered curious by some. If my amendment is passed, then the extra sitting day would be superfluous, because the committee would not have reported. I am proposing that members support this amendment and then defeat the amended motion. Then we would go back to the original agreement that we had with the crossbenchers that the committee report by 16 February. I seek leave to move the amendment which I have circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: I move:

Add "and that the Select Committee on the Territory's Superannuation Commitments not be required to report before 16 February".

I need to say no more on the matter. I think the points that I have made are fairly well known.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (8.06): Mr Speaker, I will speak to both the amendment and the motion. It seems to me that the most important part of the debate on this motion is the concern that members are addressing about the Select Committee on the Territory's Superannuation Commitments not having enough time, but of course the committee's work has largely been done for it already. Contrary to the comment from Mr Berry, that work has not been done by the Australia Institute, although of course the committee ought to take the Australia Institute report into account, recognising the $1 billion error in that report.

Mr Stanhope: That is defamatory, Mr Moore.

MR MOORE: I hear people jumping to its defence, but do not forget that the Labor Party, through Mr Berry, distributed a stack of leaflets right across Belconnen with a major error in them. The work has been done.

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