Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (2 February) . . Page.. 79 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

against selling ACTEW was so overwhelmingly good, why have so many lies been resorted to by those who have sought to stop this sale? Let us run through some of them. The Government was not going to bring - - -

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order. Mr Humphries knows it is not appropriate to use the word "lie". He has made an accusation against members who have opposed the sale. It is unparliamentary and he should withdraw it.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is certainly running close to the line, Mr Humphries. "Lie" has often been - - -

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Deputy Speaker, the rule has always been that if it is attributed to a particular member it is unparliamentary. If it is not - - -

Mr Berry: No, no, all of us.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was checking the record a moment ago. It can be taken fairly generally and in the past has been withdrawn.

MR HUMPHRIES: Only in respect of applying to certain members.

Mr Berry: Well, I felt it was applied to me.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, it was not applied to you, Mr Berry.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we get on with the debate? I call Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Deputy Speaker, let us run through the untruths which have been put forward in this debate. The Government was not going to bring the ACTEW debate to the Assembly. Untrue. The Government was going to gamble all the proceeds of the sale on the equity market. Untrue. The Government was putting the reliability of supply at risk because private ownership elsewhere has resulted in a decline in reliability. Untrue. Prices have gone up under private ownership elsewhere. Untrue. Mr Deputy Speaker, this is the big one. There is $40m in ACTEW dividends which can painlessly now be transferred into superannuation without any effect on the recurrent budget of the Territory. Let me go further. A lie.

Mr Deputy Speaker, all of those things have been trotted out, and many more, in the course of this debate to justify the argument against sale. All of them have been trotted out. It happened even in the ads that were run most recently. Do you want Canberra to be put in the position of Auckland in losing its power supply for long periods of time the way Auckland did? Auckland's power supply was coming from a publicly owned utility. How honest is it in this debate to run lines like that when you know it is an argument against public ownership, not against private ownership?

Let me put this proposition to the Assembly. It is reasonable, and not unprecedented by any means, for an opposition to enjoy the privilege of being able to criticise and attack and indeed demolish cases or propositions or legislation put forward by governments

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .