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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1395 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

documents have been sought here, an absolutely mammoth number of documents that would fill boxes and boxes. It will take a lot of time for people to collect that information. It may be possible by 31 May, but it may not be possible.

The second issue, Mr Speaker, is the fact that the documents being sought include documents, as a result of the vote on the previous amendment, which, for example, relate to the contract with SOCOG. As the Chief Minister indicated, she will write to SOCOG and, indeed, to other parties that have now been included in this motion and seek their agreement to the tabling of documents. It may be that in some cases there will be a refusal to do that. It would, I think, be appropriate for the Chief Minister to have the chance to come back to the Assembly as a whole in the sitting weeks in June and explain what the result of her requests has been so that it is possible for the Assembly as a whole to judge the appropriateness of that course of action. If, for argument's sake, we asked SOCOG to allow its document to be tabled and it said no and we came back to the Assembly and said, "We cannot table it because they have said no", and if the Assembly then said, "You must table it, otherwise we are going to move a motion of no confidence in you", we would know where we stood. We could choose between falling as a government or breaching our agreement with SOCOG. We would know where we stood in that circumstance.

But this decision will fall in the middle of a non-sitting period, if Mr Berry's amendment gets up, and that would put the Government in a very difficult position. I would argue that we should allow ourselves the time to get these documents together. It is a large number of documents that we are talking about here. Secondly, we should have the chance to come back to the Assembly and explain the difficulties that we have encountered in complying with the Assembly's resolution.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, please move your amendment formally.


(3) Omit "adjournment of the sitting of Thursday, 6 May 1999", substitute "end of the present financial year".

MR BERRY (4.44): I did not hear Mr Humphries give me his undertaking that he would give us documents as they came to hand. He is not listening. Perhaps he does not want to give me that undertaking.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer): I seek leave to make a further statement, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I indicate that the Government would not wait until the end of the period concerned and then table them all at that stage.

Mr Berry: No, you will give them to us as they come to hand.

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