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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3357 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

day. It did not reach me until some time the following week. I suggest that you check the date of the letter and the date the letter was sent to me advising me of that fact.

MR QUINLAN: I thank the Chief Minister for his answer and his frankness in telling us that his statement probably does not talk about the value of the asset but that the asset is of great value to the territory. Can the Chief Minister reconcile the fact that some of the money that, by his own answer, had previously been invested was dead money but there had been no write-down of the asset value shareholders were given credit for for the value of their new investment?

If that needs some explanation, the fact is that Actew contributed disproportionately highly in the second wave of investment but still got only a dollar-for-dollar representation in its percentage shareholding, even though some of the previous asset should have been downvalued and our proportional shareholding should have gone up more than it did. Follow that? It is a very important question here, because there is a possibility that we have done very bad business again.

MR HUMPHRIES: Once again, we have on the end of that question exactly what Mr Quinlan says he is not trying to do but in fact has made quite explicit he is trying to do. He says, "We have made another bad investment. TransACT is a bad investment."

Mr Quinlan: You have done it badly. You might have made a good investment badly, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: Oh, we have now changed that to "a good investment badly". I think that Hansard will show that Mr Quinlan referred to a bad investment. What is that investment supposed to refer to? Investment in the time we took in a cabinet meeting or the time we invested in talking about these issues in this place? No. It is a reference to TransACT.

Mr Quinlan: We have been done in the eye.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I ask him to listen to this answer that he sought at great length.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Quinlan, you were not here last week, but two of your colleagues were warned, and I will do the same to you this week.

MR HUMPHRIES: You cannot run around referring to TransACT in ways like that, as a bad investment, without it having an impact on its viability in the marketplace. What you are doing is reprehensible. If you have a concern about the way in which the accounting has been handled, then you had an opportunity in the hearings that were taking place in camera in the Finance and Public Administration Committee to inquire of the Actew board as to why that was occurring and why they had made that decision to account for it in that way. You had that opportunity. If you did not take that opportunity, that is your bad luck.

Mr Quinlan: It doesn't matter about public interest. It is my bad luck.

MR SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Quinlan.

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