Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4159 ..
Ms Carnell: Like it was with the VITAB contract?
MR BERRY: That is the transition from a predominantly public arrangement as governments move to push information out into the private sector. The Chief Minister intervenes and says, "Like the VITAB agreement?". The Chief Minister did not even have the guts to put a motion on the table to require me to table the papers, because she never had the numbers. If she had had the numbers, I would have tabled them. It is as simple as that. Do not start that nonsense with me. You never even tried. You did not have the wit to do it. So you were half right.
I reiterate my congratulations of Mr Stanhope for his persistence on this issue. I think it will lead to something better in the administration of the Territory.
MR OSBORNE (6.09), in reply: I am pleased that Mr Berry thinks that Mr Stanhope should take credit. I do not particularly care. I think this matter has dragged on for far too long. There is still a lot of chest beating going on when the Chief Minister and Mr Stanhope stand up. They are both trying to prove who is tougher. From the research we have done and the advice from the Clerk, it has become very clear to me and my office, especially in the last couple of weeks, that I really did not have to give any commitment; that when the Assembly calls for documents the Executive has a requirement to table them.
I would be happy for any member who would like a copy of the Clerk's advice to come around to my office and read it. It is a very revealing advice that all of us should be aware of. I see the Clerk sitting there nervously. The principle is very sound. When this Assembly calls for documents to be tabled, the Executive has a requirement to table them. It is unfortunate that Mr Stanhope has had to go to court and fight the Raiders, the Brumbies and everyone else. As I said, it is very clear to me that this Assembly has the power to issue directions to the Executive to table documents. I am happy to circulate the Clerk's advice to members. I think it is a good read.
I am pleased that this part of the saga is over. I intend to act professionally, as Mr Stanhope intends to act professionally and as Mr Cornwell will act professionally. The principle of the Assembly being able to request documents is an important one, but the principle about taxpayers' money is also vitally important. I look forward to seeing the documents in the committee next Wednesday.
Amendment agreed to.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.