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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4129 ..

Mr Stanhope: Perhaps the Government can table the special circumstances, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: Mr Stanhope reminds me of a question to ask. Will the Government table a document containing details of the special circumstances which gave rise to this extension of the payments to five years? What were those special circumstances? (Quorum formed) I am pleased that the Chief Minister is back because I want to ask her about the special circumstances which applied to the extension of this generous allowance to these public servants. It is impossible to rationalise the payment of $50,000 in rent allowance to senior public servants with the mean-spirited move of this spineless Government of ripping $50,000 off bursars over minor industrial action. Bill the bursar basher and the Chief Minister's Department ripped $50,000 off bursars over minor industrial action.

MR SPEAKER: Relevance, please.

MR BERRY: These lowly paid, isolated workers who were unable to defend themselves were bashed by this Government while it was generously paying out money to highly paid public servants.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I seek to make an explanation under standing order 47.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, during the debate, the Chief Minister indicated that I had used the word "illegal". I indicate that at no time during the debate did I use such a word.

MR QUINLAN (4.25): Very quickly, Mr Speaker - - -

MR SPEAKER: Yes, you will have to be.

MR QUINLAN: I know. All I want to do is point out that a lot of this debate swings on the words "special circumstances". It is just inconceivable that there would be special circumstances in every case. It would seem to me that this is something that, given the various arguments that have been thrown in, does need some sort of objective assessment. In order to assist the house, I commit myself to bringing this matter before the public accounts committee, with the suggestion that we should refer it to the Auditor-General so that we can sort out the fact from the fiction. If everybody in our world is special, we can actually verify that via the objective assessment.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion is concluded.

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