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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3420 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

It smells very similarly to the previous one. We are all ready to go; we are ready to debate these things. No! It is not good enough! I think their behaviour is absolutely deplorable, Mr Speaker, and I seek the Assembly's support for Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations): Mr Speaker, with the indulgence of members, I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I thank members. I will be brief.

I think it is important to draw to members' attention that this legislation was introduced some months ago. What has been Mr Pratt's activity since that time? Presumably he has been diligently researching away and focusing on the issues, talking to stakeholders and so on.

I have just been advised that Mr Pratt rang the Canberra Business Council this morning, to ask if they had any views on the bill. That was this morning-the day the bill was scheduled for debate. On the basis of their advice, he has now sought, and successfully achieved, an adjournment in this place. This legislation has been on the table for at least two months. Mr Pratt decided he had better ring the stakeholders this morning to find out what is going on.

Mr Speaker, this is important legislation. It is legislation the business community in Canberra is calling for, because it removes the necessity to pay lump sum supplementation in one hit. When does the shadow minister get around to doing any work on it? The morning the bill is scheduled for debate.

Quite frankly, this legislation deserves better than we have got from Mr Pratt. The government will bring the legislation back on, as a matter or urgency.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Debate adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 11.58 am to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Credit rating

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to the Treasurer. I refer to a media release issued by the Standard and Poors credit rating agency in February this year, which you were trumpeting at the time. The release said:

Standard and Poors expects that the new Stanhope Labor Government will adopt a prudent set of fiscal goals and that its first budget will be fiscally conservative. Any further deterioration in the territory's finances is, therefore, unlikely.

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