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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 602 ..


: If it is the case that I indicated that Mr Humphries had introduced a draft variation in 1997, I apologise because that is certainly not the case. However, I understand, I may be corrected, that Mr Humphries indicated his intention for the Government to introduce a draft variation at a later stage and that Mr Humphries also indicated the Government's support for the route for the John Dedman Parkway - sorry, Gungahlin Drive extension - which was reannounced by the Minister for Urban Services yesterday. That was the intent of my statement yesterday.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services): I seek leave to make a personal explanation, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: What I announced yesterday was not a reannouncement of the route. What I announced yesterday was that we would now proceed with the draft variation. In fact, if Mr Corbell paid attention, Ms Tucker asked a question about this subject in probably November or December of last year. She clearly understands the difference between announcing a preferred route and announcing a draft variation.

MR BERRY: It is the season for personal explanations, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to make a personal explanation pursuant to standing order 46.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: During question time the Chief Minister accused me of being unreasonably mean spirited, I think, for not offering her congratulations on the recent employment and unemployment figures and on not finding anything wrong with them. I welcome the unemployment figures today, but I must say that I am yet to find a good reason to congratulate the Government on them because everywhere I go people say, "When are you going to get rid of this Chief Minister?". That is what happens with ordinary people in the street. Business people say to me - - -

MR SPEAKER: That is not a personal explanation. Sit down, Mr Berry. You may use the adjournment debate if you wish, and you will have five minutes there.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I was accused of being unreasonably mean spirited. I can only base my judgment on the facts as they come to me, Mr Speaker. The facts are that people have no confidence in this Government. The unemployment figures are improving despite this Government. The people do not deserve a horror budget.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Sit down, Mr Berry.

Mr Humphries: Is he off his medication or something?

Ms Carnell: I agree. Mr Speaker, I will make an offer to Mr Berry. Mr Berry, I still do have my pharmacy. If you would like me to fill the prescription, I would be very happy.

Mr Berry: Not on your sweet life, not unless you taste it first.

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