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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1073 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (5.52): I was going to ask one of my staff to calculate what number this censure motion was in the long procession of censure motions that we have had in this place. The rough guess was that there have been about 12 or 13 since 1995, but I am open to correction on that.

I have to say that it has been one of the drearier and less passionate motions of censure I have seen for a while. I am not really surprised, given the way in which members have roamed over all sorts of issues in this matter as if they have been trying to find something to pin on the Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts. Mr Wood digressed to the removal or departure of Mr Mico from CTEC, which is not part of the motion as far as I can tell. We have had comments about the operation of CTEC. We have had issues of all sorts raised in the context of this matter. I have to say that none of them has been particularly convincing.

Mr Berry described this whole affair as a bit of a cook-up. In support of that, he said that he assumed that there had been no written direction to CTEC and then there was strong innuendo that perhaps there was some other direction to CTEC, some oral or verbal direction, which we do not know about.

Mr Berry: We will never know.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, they were the words used. We have here a motion of censure, a very serious matter, being moved about a minister on the basis that certain things are being alleged of which there is no substance or proof. We have a censure motion being moved on the basis that there might have been an oral direction, but we do not really know. No evidence has been suggested or brought forward to support that. It has been put in evidence in the course of the debate on this motion-

Mr Berry: But he misled the Assembly; that is the point I made.

MR HUMPHRIES: In that respect, he advises me-he can speak for himself if he wants to later-that there was no communication between CTEC and the government before CTEC made a decision about moving to Brindabella Park at the airport, that the only thing that was conveyed was a conversation from the chairman of CTEC to advise that a decision had been made by the CTEC board to make that move. There was no request to the minister to confirm, support or assess the decision because, quite properly, it was CTEC's decision. We do not require authorities of that kind to come back and confirm such decisions with the government. It is their job to make those decisions. So the sly slur that there must have been an oral direction somewhere, but we will never know is, frankly, the kind of thing that we have to contend with in this motion.

The motion expresses concern regarding a whole series of things. First of all, it refers to access for clients and staff of the corporation. If I am dealing with CTEC and work outside the city centre and if, like most citizens of this city, I get from place to place in a car, I may find it a great deal easier to deal with the corporation at the airport than to find a parking space in town and try to find my way to the offices of CTEC, so to criticise them on the basis of a lack of access is something of a nonsense.

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