Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 78 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
We in the Labor Party were not going to let those sorts of tactics go unchallenged, and we have not. Who amongst us would trust Kate Carnell to prudently store away a large amount of money for a specific purpose? Which one of you? Stick up your hand. You would, Mr Humphries.
Mr Smyth: What was the question?
MR BERRY: Mr Smyth does not trust her either. Do we really think that she would leave it alone if an opportunity arose to spend it to promote herself? Do we really think a large amount of ready cash would be safe in her hands?
The Chief Minister has shown in the past that she is prepared to be reckless, and she has shown that she is prepared to be reckless, again with community assets. Let us consider some of the examples, such as the Feel the Power of Canberra campaign and the tens of millions of dollars worth of extravagance on the Bruce Stadium. Who would leave this Chief Minister in charge of a large amount of money from the sale of an important asset? I would not. Gary Humphries would. I will contest Gary Humphries on that score. I will even make a small wager with him, and I bet I will win. She also has been reckless on the figures she bandied about to support her case for the sale.
ACTEW's value is its gold-plated infrastructure. It has been undervalued deliberately for a quick sale. The big benefit, of course, will go to the purchaser. Everything for a quick sale. Reduce the opportunity for scrutiny at any cost. The Chief Minister's own words were:
Between 1993-94 and last year, ACTEW actually returned about $285m ...
Here is another little quote from the Chief Minister:
... over the next four years, ACTEW will pay the Territory $215m ...
A total of $500m would be gone forever once ACTEW was sold. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to work out that over a few years the losses to the ACT will outweigh the benefits of the sale of ACTEW. The Government argues that Labor cannot spend the payments from ACTEW when they would do away with it altogether with the sale of it. What a hypocritical position to adopt. Labor's campaign arises from its commitment to our community assets, and the community has backed us all the way. Unfortunately, this whole episode has been a really tawdry chapter in the Territory's history, culminating in a tantrum in the sandpit. Mr Deputy Speaker, this Chief Minister has behaved abominably in relation to the sale of ACTEW. I remind the Chief Minister that ACTEW is ours. This is a personal matter. It is a personal matter for me and for all my constituents. It is ours. Do not sell it.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer)(5.37): Mr Deputy Speaker, I will, of necessity, be quite brief in this debate. Let me make a few points. If it had been the case that the argument