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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3363 ..

MR KAINE: I have a supplementary question. I take it, in view of the brevity of the response, Mr Speaker, that the Chief Minister's answer to that question was no, she will not. So I have to ask this question: Since Jeff fell on his sword, will the Chief Minister emulate his admirable conduct and offer her resignation too?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the answer to that is no. My answer to the first question was that we already have. I would have to say, Mr Speaker, that if we look at the level of support from the Canberra community for any of us here, it should be Mr Kaine who gives his resignation.

Mr Kaine: Well, your deputy and the Speaker had better go at the same time.

MS CARNELL: The one person who would not go is me.


MR QUINLAN: My question is to the Treasurer and it relates to the ACTEW merger proposal. Can the Treasurer acquaint the Assembly on his involvement in the review of the report on the proposed merger prepared initially by ABN AMRO? It is clear from remarks by the immediate past Treasurer before she abdicated that the report was prepared at arm's length from the Executive. So, did you have any input into the final version before it was sent off to the New South Wales Government? Do you own all the propositions contained in that report, or did we just send off the raw product to New South Wales without any review, qualification or comment?

MR HUMPHRIES: It is a very strange question, Mr Speaker. Are we talking about the joint working party or the earlier work that ABN AMRO did?

Mr Quinlan: The joint working party on a merger.

MR HUMPHRIES: The joint working party merger document. Well, Mr Speaker, as members are well aware, there was a joint working party. It consisted of four officers, two nominated by the ACT Government and two by the New South Wales Government.

Mr Quinlan: How often did they meet?

Ms Carnell: Regularly.

MR HUMPHRIES: I cannot answer that question. I can take on notice any question about how they operated, whom they spoke to, what research they did, how they prepared their responses and so on. If you want that information I am happy to supply it to you, Mr Quinlan. It was a process undertaken at the behest of both governments to determine fundamental questions about the viability of the merger between ACTEW and Great Southern Energy. It produced its report substantially at arm's length from the Government. I did not have any involvement in that, although I only became Treasurer fairly late in that process of the working party's work, and I received the report and read it with interest.

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