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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2345 ..

Mr Humphries: They are cabinet documents.

MR STANHOPE: Anything is an executive document.

Mr Humphries: No. If they go to cabinet, then they are cabinet documents.

MR STANHOPE: Only so long as there was not an exemption available. We all know that that is how the FOI Act works. That is the other aspect of this debate.

Mr Humphries: You are a bit confused.

MR STANHOPE: There was some confusion. I was quite confused by the approach you took to me in one of your letters, Chief Minister. I did not understand it. You may recall that I wrote back to you and said, "Chief Minister, it is not for me to decide what you can release. It is for you to make a decision pursuant to the exemptions."

Mr Humphries: You were asking for cabinet documents.

MR STANHOPE: That is not my recollection.

Mr Humphries: We will find out.

MR STANHOPE: We probably need to get the correspondence to understand exactly what I asked for. It is a matter that has not yet been resolved. I do not think the last set of documents, those that went to the project management tendering and contracting process, which was the issue in dispute between us, Chief Minister-

Mr Humphries: You have not replied to my last letter. That is why.

MR STANHOPE: I will have to check that. That is interesting. I thought I had. I thought I was awaiting your response. I had better check my files. You suggest that we made claims for cabinet decisions. That is not something I have ever done, because I have similar views to you, Chief Minister, about what is appropriate and what is not. I will look at the correspondence, and we will decide then what I asked for and what you responded that I asked for.

I will just restate the position. This debate has gone on for long enough. The Labor Party does not resile from its support for a prospective six-year period. We remain opposed to a retrospective period. We voted against this bill. We see the Chief Minister's amendments as the lesser of the two evils in relation to retrospectivity. We will support the 10-year period, and we will ourselves move to create a six-year prospective period.

Mr Humphries: Why is prospective better than retrospective? You have not explained that.

MR STANHOPE: We have explained that in detail and at length, Chief Minister.

Mr Humphries: I do not understand why.

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