Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4156 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

money. I can assure all those organisations that, in deliberations on which material to release, the committee - made up of yourself, Mr Speaker, Mr Stanhope and me - will act professionally. I think the right thing is that we be able to make that decision.

I believe the Government will be supporting this amended motion. I fully expect the Labor Party to support it. I think this matter has gone on for far too long. We could have gone down the path of the New South Wales upper house and suspended the Chief Minister from the chamber until she provided the documents. I can see a wry smile from Mr Kaine. I am pleased that the information will be forthcoming, and I can assure everybody that we will handle it professionally.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (5.55): Mr Speaker, as I have said before in this place, the Government is very happy for these contracts to be released. The problem in the past, as members would be aware, has been that the other parties to these contracts have not been happy for their contracts to be released, and some of the contracts have confidentiality clauses in them. I am more than happy for these contracts to be provided to the committee. Again, I have said that before. But I would appreciate the committee treating the contracts professionally, understanding that there is commercial-in-confidence information in them.

Mr Osborne has given me an undertaking that the position of the ACT Government will be respected and that the committee will do everything in its power to stop the Government from being sued for releasing information that could place the Government at risk of action against it and potentially undermine its professionalism. I take on board Mr Osborne's undertaking that the committee will behave professionally and will respect the commercial-in-confidence nature of some parts of these contracts. On that basis, although the Government is concerned about this approach, it understands the approach that the Assembly is likely to take here.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.58): Mr Speaker, I am pleased that the Government has finally relented. This motion is a repeat of the motion that the Assembly passed last May calling on the Government to table a whole range of documents. The Assembly has previously passed this motion. I am not entirely sure it is in order that we pass a motion with the same effect as a motion previously passed in the calendar year. It is virtually the same motion that was passed by the Assembly in May requiring the Government to table a whole range of documents. The Government perversely refused to allow these documents to be released consistent with the Assembly's previous order.

Mr Moore: It is just dishonest, Jon. You are twisting it.

MR STANHOPE: When were the agreements tabled, Mr Moore?

Mr Moore: It was not a motion to provide them to a committee. I am not talking about that part.

MR STANHOPE: So they have been provided, have they, Mr Moore? A committee is no more and no less than an emanation of the Assembly. We all know that. You are giving the committee a status over and above the Assembly, which is simply wrong.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .