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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 512 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, 20,100 people went along on Friday night. Wasn't that exciting? I thought that was pretty exciting. It was a great outcome. There is the operational revenue from the stadium, from the people who go. All of the operational revenue from the stadium. This is the management company. It is patently obvious that that is the case. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Mr Kaine cannot understand that. I also cannot understand why members of this place have to be chronically negative about anything. Stadium Australia opened on Saturday night last week, the night after our stadium ended up with a near-capacity crowd for our first game of the season. The general media and the position of politicians was positive. Guess what that stadium cost, Mr Speaker? My understanding is it was very close to $700m. The exposure of the New South Wales Government, I understand - I will certainly correct these figures if I am wrong - was something like $190m, and yet they were right behind that stadium because it is good for New South Wales and good for Sydney. Our $12.3m is good for Canberra.

School Enrolments

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education. Yesterday the Minister embarked on a cynical beat-up of a possible administrative irregularity in relation to school enrolments, as if it were of the magnitude of the pursuit of General Pinochet in the United Kingdom for crimes against humanity. This is the same Minister who exploited the vagaries of enrolment census figures in his much reported attempt to close Downer Preschool, an attack, incidentally, which was sensibly repulsed by this Assembly. Do you not think it is improper, Minister, to make such a politically motivated attack on the system because of this administrative failure, and when will you accept that the enrolment census arrangements are part of the problem?

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I am happy for Mr Berry to ask questions and I expect it, but there is an investigation currently under way into this matter. It is not a matter that is sub judice, but it is certainly a matter under investigation in a way which I think members may risk or threaten if they are prepared to ask questions on the floor of this house about it. I would ask members, through you, Mr Speaker, to consider whether it is wise to ask or answer questions in respect of this matter while it is currently under investigation and could conceivably lead to criminal charges.

MR SPEAKER: Indeed. Do you have a point of order, Mr Berry?

Mr Berry: There is no point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: "Do you have a point of order", I said.

Mr Berry: Well, I might as well respond to the one that has been made, by your leave. Mr Speaker, there is no point of order. This does not go to the questions which are under investigation or the people involved. It can therefore not be described in the way that Mr Humphries has said. It is not contrary to the standing orders to ask such a question. If you were to rule so it would be gagging members in this place.

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