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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3775 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

understanding and Mr Stanhope's understanding of what this motion does. There has been a fair amount of toing-and-froing in relation to this issue, and I think it has gone on for long enough.

The motion calls on the Government to provide the hirers' agreements between Bruce Operations and the Canberra Raiders, the Brumbies, the Canberra Cosmos and SOCOG. It directs that the select committee that your good self, Mr Speaker, Mr Stanhope and I are on regard these documents as being commercial-in-confidence and that we agree not to publish them or extracts from them. However, there is agreement that we can speak about what is in the contracts without being specific about extracts.

Perhaps I will make it a little bit clearer, Mr Speaker. My understanding of the agreement from the Government is that we will not publish the contracts or extracts from them, but we can refer to them in public and within the confines of the committee.

As I said, I think this issue has gone on long enough. Mr Stanhope has been forced to go to the AAT over it. This Assembly did pass a motion. This afternoon I have had conversations with the Raiders and the Brumbies and informed them of my decision on this. They have accepted what we are attempting to do, and I look forward to support from the majority of the Assembly.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (5.53): Mr Speaker, we will be supporting this approach. I have said on many occasions that I am more than happy to release these documents in confidence to an Assembly committee. I think that is an appropriate way to go. Of course, the Auditor-General already has the documents as part of his deliberations about the Bruce Stadium issue. From the Government's perspective, we have made it clear on many occasions that we are happy to make them available to the Assembly committee on the basis that the commercial-in-confidence requirements are met; that is, as Mr Osborne says, the documents will not be published, extracts from the documents will not be published and commercial-in-confidence parts of the documents will not be used. It is that simple.

I think it is appropriate that the committee have the opportunity to look at these documents and in their deliberations use the information that they will provide. They will be able to make comments without using any of the commercial-in-confidence information in a specific way. This is not an unusual scenario. It is the way commercial-in-confidence information is provided to committees in Federal Parliament and parliaments in other parts of Australia.

It allows the requirements of the Raiders, the Brumbies, the Cosmos and SOCOG for confidentiality to be met, but at the same time it allows the information that the contracts provide to be available to the Assembly committee to use in its deliberations. I believe that is a totally appropriate approach.

After the motion is passed I hope the Assembly will be able to reach agreement with regard to commercial-in-confidence information and its availability to Assembly committees. The Government would be very pleased to end up with some guidelines that would allow commercial-in-confidence information to be available to Assembly

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