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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 35 ..

MR QUINLAN (2.47), in reply: Mr Speaker, can I thank all the members of this place for the interest they have shown in the committee's report. Can I particularly thank those members of the Government who attacked the process and the chairmanship. I assume that those who spent so little time talking about the report and who concentrated on process, on me and on other members of the committee have precious little to offer the actual debate. One always expects a vitriolic response from Mr Moore and Mr Humphries. It is pretty much their stock-in-trade. Of course, the effect is minimal.

Mr Moore: We are going to expose your inadequacies too, and your bullying tactics.

MR QUINLAN: You are used currency in that regard, Mr Moore. I have to admit that I did quake in my shoes a little bit when Mr Smyth rose. I thought, "Jeez, I am going to catch it now". But he was not nearly so unkind. He merely mimicked the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister devoted a considerable amount of time to her pessimistic side and the folly of optimism - not the "Happy Days Kate" that we know, not even the Kate who, as recently as yesterday, was popping champagne for the media over our economic prospects.

I want to make this point clear. The committee was very concerned that the Assembly and people of Canberra were not given the full picture - the spectrum, from the pessimistic to the optimistic. You do not trust the Assembly as a whole and you do not trust the people of Canberra with all the information. Who conferred the divine right of censorship on this Government? This is the place where major decisions are taken, but this place has received the proverbial mushroom treatment, and the absence of a balanced picture is a prime message in this report. This may be a novel idea; but, from here on, why do you not come to this place with the balanced picture?

Let me now turn to the matter of the dividend of ACTEW - which, seriatim, I think, Mr Lambert of ABN AMRO, the Chief Minister and now the Deputy Chief Minister somehow believe you can do away with by doing away with ACTEW. So you have not got it; but we cannot have it for our model. That is not fair. It is going on schools and hospitals and policemen. Where are those moneys going to come from when you have sold ACTEW and devoted it all to the superannuation?

Let me turn to the process for this committee. The picture that one might derive from today's discussion is very far removed from what actually happened. There was a very bizarre twist in the debate, which contained little substance from those on that side of the house. I actually want the world to know that, despite what has been said in this place, I like Harold Hird.

Mr Hird: I think you are a good bloke too, Ted.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Harold.

MR SPEAKER: Would you two like to go out outside and talk about this, or can we get on with the debate?

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