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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1504 ..

Labor government document

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (6.53): Mr Speaker, can I respond to what Mr Berry has just said?

MR SPEAKER: You may.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Berry may not be aware that a protocol was developed some years ago for the way in which documents of former governments could be accessed. This protocol was discussed with the opposition at the time, so this should not come as a total surprise. Perhaps Mr Berry was not involved in those discussions. The decision was made that documents of governments no longer in power could be accessed by the current leader of the party that had then been in power. As the leader of the Labor Party today, Mr Stanhope is entitled to access the documents of the Labor government of Ms Follett. That was the protocol that was developed some years ago, when the question arose of how a member would be able to access documents of a former government. The issue arose because someone sought access to a document, and the document was provided to that member once this protocol was developed.

My response to Mr Berry's assertion, which he does not now care to hear, is that Mr Stanhope is entitled to call for the documents of the Follett government. That is the case and he is entitled to do so. If he wishes to consult with Ms Follett or anybody else in the government, he is entitled to.

Mr Berry: I told you what the Labor Party's position was then. I was there!

MR HUMPHRIES: I will get to that. He is entitled to do that, but he has the power to call for the documents. So, Mr Berry, you can tap Mr Stanhope on the shoulder-in front of you there-and say, if you want to, "I want to see that document." That is what I mean when I say I will be able to arrange for you to see it; I will be able to direct you to the public servant who will be able to provide that document for Mr Stanhope to see.

You say it was the policy of the Labor Party. My question is: do I believe you, or do I believe the then Labor Deputy Chief Minister, who was on the public record at the time-after he had left the Assembly-as saying that the decision had been made by him. He was the responsible minister. He said on the public record at the time, "I decided we would build at Dickson, not at Gungahlin."

Mr Berry: Well, I told you what Labor's position was.

MR HUMPHRIES: But it obviously was not Labor's policy because Mr Lamont made a different decision. He reported at the time that a memo went up to Ms Follett, who was leader of the government at the time-

Mr Wood: She knocked it back.

MR HUMPHRIES: I will come to that. That memo advised her of the decision that he had made. Mr Wood interjected a moment ago to say that Ms Follett knocked it back.

Mr Wood: I believe that is the case.

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