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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2377 ..

MR QUINLAN: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. At the same time as we were initiating that particular study, we also called, in about April, for expressions of interest from people who might be interested in strategic alliances with ACTEW. Can the Chief Minister advise this Assembly as to when the Assembly as a whole will be advised of the contents of those expressions of interest received, and whether any of them have been followed up?

MS CARNELL: Mr Quinlan would know because we briefed his committee on the outcome of those.

Mr Quinlan: And they said you had to come to the Assembly.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, we briefed Mr Quinlan's committee because it is the appropriate Assembly committee. I think Mr Quinlan suggested that none of these would happen except over his dead body, or one of his usual negative statements on all of these issues. He also said that he was not interested in his committee being part of this process; that we had to go to every member of the Assembly, not use the committee process at all.

Mr Speaker, I have not brought this up; nor have I got stuck into Mr Quinlan for his view on this. He brought it up right now. I think it is the role of Assembly committees to be part of this sort of procedure. This is about a government wanting to be open and wanting the committees to be part of decision-making processes, but Mr Quinlan has decided that he did not want his committee to take any responsibility whatsoever for the process, and that the Government would need to go to the whole Assembly prior to - - -

Mr Stanhope: Absolutely.

Mr Quinlan: What a good idea.

MS CARNELL: The Government would have to go to the Assembly. Mr Speaker, as we have said the whole way through this process of calling for expressions of interest, those expressions of interest would be weighed up against the merger proposal. So the working party report on the merger would be weighed up against the expressions of interest that came from the tender process to determine which was best for the Territory.

At this stage, as Mr Quinlan knows, we do not have the working party report on the merger to weigh up against the other entities, but I understand that the board of ACTEW did determine the top four or so of the expressions of interest and they were run past Mr Quinlan's committee, but he did not want to be part of it.

Mr Quinlan: Mr Lilley was involved in this as well.

MS CARNELL: Yes, I asked him to.

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