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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2374 ..

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Wood!

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Those opposite had a set of rules when they were in government and they were about respecting the views of the other party. When they spoke about the VITAB contract they said they could not release it because the other party to the contract was unwilling to allow it to be released and that it would be inappropriate behaviour of the Government to release it under those circumstances. We are using their rules, Mr Speaker. We have written to the other parties and they have said no, they do not want the contracts released. I have to say from an ACT Government perspective that we have no problems. Along the lines of the rules set by the Follett Government, when the other party - - -

Mr Stanhope: So you are scrapping your discussion paper on commercial-in-confidence information. You are scrapping it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Stanhope, you have asked your question. You will have a chance to ask your supplementary question if you wish when the Chief Minister has finished.

MS CARNELL: When the other party to a contract does not want that contract released because they believe that some of the information may in some way prejudice their position in the marketplace, then the Government of the day should respect that, just as the Follett Government did when they determined not to release the VITAB contract. There is any number of references on this in Hansard, Mr Speaker. It is about time that those opposite stopped being so hypocritical in these sorts of areas and operated on their own rules.

MR STANHOPE: I have a supplementary question. Will the Chief Minister admit that it was only after the Assembly demanded that the Government release these documents relating to Bruce Stadium that the major tenants were asked whether they had any commercial-in-confidence objections to the release of the contracts? Did the Government make any serious assessment of its own about whether the contracts fell within its own definition of commercial-in-confidence?

MR SPEAKER: I will allow the question.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think it is extremely lucky that those opposite will never run this Territory. If they did, Mr Speaker, business in this town would come to a screaming halt because they obviously have no understanding of the concepts of contracts or business at all.

Mr Quinlan: Have a look at your own business record. Dear, oh dear.

MS CARNELL: I am very happy to look at my own business record.

MR SPEAKER: Settle down.

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