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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3638 ..

MR QUINLAN: I have never said there will be high-risk prisoners there, Mr Humphries. That is the misinformation that I am trying to point out.

Mrs Dunne: What are they classified as? You didn't actually-

MR QUINLAN: They are classified-

Mrs Dunne: We were there.

MR QUINLAN: They are slow learners. I know they are not interested in thinking and I know we have got some slow learners, or those that will not hear. But I have said all remand prisoners are classified as maximum security. There is a whole lot of difference between that classification and what it actually implies in real information versus high risk. And that is the misinformation that Mr Humphries has deliberately peddled-not untypical of our Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Graeme Samuel

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is for the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan. Mr Quinlan, the Australian Financial Review of 13 November 2002 reported that you had lodged an objection to the appointment of Mr Graeme Samuel as the deputy of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Mr Samuel is currently the highly regarded chair of the National Competition Council. I quote from the column in the Financial Review:

The real loser is, of course, that undefinable body called the public interest because none of the complaints lodged against him advanced any serious reason why he would not do a good job ... But ask yourself now whether he or anyone else would agree to run the gauntlet again until the Feds had won support from the states.

Treasurer, why did you blackball Mr Samuel, given that he had the support of Professor Fels for the position and he has done a good job at the National Competition Council? Do you think that peer pressure or a fit of pique is a satisfactory reason for your decision in this matter?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, the tail end of that question creates a false premise, and if I am asked questions that are based on a false premise I will not answer them.

Mrs Dunne: Ooh.

Mr Stanhope: Fair enough.

MR QUINLAN: No, fair enough. I was just on my feet a moment ago talking about misinformation, and then all of a sudden it is "a fit of pique". I have on my desk, Mr Smyth, an article authored some years ago by Graeme Samuel, who proposes that the process of insider trading is a good thing. My belief for the functions of the ACCC is that it is there for the protection of the public-the public interest, as mentioned in that article from which you quoted. The public, as far as I am concerned, represents even the little people.

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