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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3365 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: It does say that, Mr Berry. The question asked was quite unambiguous. Has Totalcare or the government acted within the framework of the law? Has it obeyed the rules required of it under the Territory Owned Corporations Act? The answer was yes, it has, and the degree of disclosure required by the act has been complied with. If you are not prepared to accept that, then you are not reading the words on the page in front of you.

Mr Speaker, I might say this is an indication of the kind of administration we could expect if Mr Berry were a minister in a government after October of this year. You get trapped into a corner and your response is that black is white. No, if anyone asks me, black is white. He keeps insisting on that until people just give up and go away.

But the fact is, Mr Speaker, now we have two sources of people saying that black is black and that Mr Berry is wrong. Mr Berry hasn't got the guts to make that admission. Mr Speaker, in a minute I will table an answer to a question I took on notice last week from him.

The fact is that Mr Berry, at some point or other, needs to acknowledge that he has made a mistake. I have offered Mr Berry the chance to get this matter verified by an independent source-not the ACT Government Solicitor, who might have a conflict of interest; not Mallesons. I have invited you to go to somebody else. What's more, the government will pay for the advice. So are you going to accept that offer, Mr Berry, or aren't you?

Mr Berry: Wait till tomorrow.

MR HUMPHRIES: Tomorrow is about a bill to change the law, Mr Berry. It doesn't help you with the fact that what we have already done has been within the framework of the law. If you want to change the law, Mr Berry, that's fine. But the fact is that you've been caught out on this matter. Are you going to have the guts to say you were wrong? If you aren't will you then allow us to go to somebody else who can verify that you're wrong and thereby clear the reputations of the public servants that you have besmirched in this process?

MR BERRY: One of these days, Mr Speaker, we'll keep an eye on these people when they're answering questions and get them to stick to the "concise and to the point" rule.

Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, you will have to withdraw that, Mr Berry; it is an inference against the chair.

Mr Stefaniak: There are two issues, Mr Speaker. Given that I haven't been asked a question, the media guys might like to get file footage quickly, because I'm going to sit down soon. There is an imputation there, Mr Speaker. Also, I think Mr Berry is breaching standing order 188 by giving a preamble.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw the imputation.

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