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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3635 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Yes, I accept what the Chief Minister has said; that the cost will vary. I think he made the point, which I thought was a very generous point to make, that if the penetration is not achieved there would be some savings in the capital costs. Of course, there are some other dire consequences of not achieving a reasonable rate of penetration into the market.

So, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to make it quite clear that the ALP supports TransACT to date, as I said, with considerable qualification. This exercise unfortunately has some of the hallmarks of the Bruce Stadium affair where it took leverage to get the facts. When the facts came out those who elicited the facts were accused of not wanting the Olympic Games, of not wanting Bruce Stadium, of being disloyal to Canberra. I think I gave to Mrs Carnell at that stage the Samuel Johnson quote-that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I see that occurring again to some extent. If we challenge the way you have gone about TransACT there is an immediate leap: "You don't like TransACT, you don't like Canberra, and you probably eat babies." That is the natural progression of logic that Mr Humphries tries to put across in this place. I think that is unfortunate.

I think it has been appropriate that the Assembly receive this statement. I am quite happy to have received it, and I am quite proud of the role that the public accounts committee has taken, and the scrupulous way it has gone about its job.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Personal explanations

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement under standing order 46.


MR HUMPHRIES: In the course of question time yesterday, Mr Quinlan, in his capacity as chair in the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, was asked a couple of questions. One of them was from Mr Hargreaves. In the course of the answer to that question it was implied that I had misled the Assembly by not answering members' questions about the cost of the TransACT rollout; that I knew the precise cost because I was present during the in-camera committee hearing on this subject. The first question from Mr Hargreaves was as follows:

Can the chairman of the public accounts committee tell the Assembly whether he knows the expected total cost of the rollout and the source of that information?

Mr Quinlan answered that the committee had been given a more precise figure than $200 million and that it was considerably more than $200 million. Mr Hargreaves went on to ask a supplementary question:

... can the chairman of the committee tell the Assembly whether the Chief Minister was present at the hearing when the estimate was provided, and was there sufficient discussion on the particular topic to ensure that everyone present was clear on the figure?

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