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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2303 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

to matters involved with the hospital implosion. Mr Humphries sat on his hands and did nothing in relation to that, and this Assembly was forced to fix the problem. There are now people before the courts who would not have been if Mr Humphries had had his way.

Mr Humphries: So you are in favour of retrospectivity.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, it was not retrospective. It was continuing. There were no new laws passed, Mr Speaker. All we did was fix up the mistake that Mr Humphries created by sitting on his hands, and after the corner had recommended-

Mr Humphries: So you are in favour of retrospectivity.

MR BERRY: There were no new laws, Mr Humphries. We did not make any new laws. So, Mr Speaker-

Mr Humphries: Oh, you can't do it with new laws. You can amend a law.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries says we have had a go at retrospectivity. We were not very selective about it, Mr Humphries. It applied to all of the people involved in the hospital implosion, and you should apply the same rule to yourself if you are fair dinkum. Apply it to all of your decisions. But you do not want us to see all of them, do you? You were very selective about this. The thought process would be this: "Gee, yes, 10 years would be okay, but two years would not be because it would take us back too close to some of the decisions in relation to the hospital implosion, for example, and some of the decisions in relation to Bruce Stadium."

Mr Humphries: Who suggested six years? It was you, wasn't it?

Mr Moore: That was prospective. It's okay. Six years when you can sanitise.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries again tries to mislead this Assembly by saying Labor's position is six years.

Mr Moore: I said prospective.

MR BERRY: It is not six years retrospectively. Mr Speaker, these people obviously have no credibility when it comes to openness and accountability unless they will apply the same rules to themselves, and they won't.

MS TUCKER (11.46): I want to respond to the argument from Mr Berry about the retrospective aspect of this and Labor's concerns with that. I think the key point here, as I understand it, is that it is true to say that since we have had self-government in the ACT it has not been totally clear that there would be access to cabinet documents. Neither was it ever made totally clear that there would not be.

There is a principle. The federal government and other states have always had a 30-year rule of access. Members of this Assembly, including Mr Berry and people who have been here for a long time, never took the opportunity in this place to make a definite decision and say, "In the ACT we want to be different from everywhere else in Australia.

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