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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4251 ..

MS TUCKER: I do not agree with you. My question is specifically: why didn't the government facilitate negotiations? These are specific questions, such as, did they know that there was some other negotiation going on? And, why did you not wait to see?

MR SPEAKER: Rephrase it, if you have to. Read out what you have said.

MS TUCKER: I have said it a couple of different ways now. I do not think it is quite what Mr Cornwell is asking. I am asking why the government did not actively encourage negotiations between another club and the Hungarian-Australian Club for this site.

MR CORBELL: Can you say that again, Ms Tucker? I know you have worked very hard on it. I will endeavour to answer the question-I believe I caught the gist of it. Mr Speaker, it is not the role of the government to facilitate negotiations between a lessee and a purchaser-full stop. That is why we did not do it.

I think it is important to clarify, however, that the existing lease of the Hungarian-Australian Club is still in effect. It is a concessional lease and ministerial consent is required for the lease to be transferred. If a prospective purchaser wishes to purchase the lease, receives consent for the transfer of that lease to it and wishes to continue to operate within the terms of that lease, as a club, it can do that.

Yellow Pages small business index

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to the minister for business, Mr Quinlan. I refer to the recent Yellow Pages business index for small and medium enterprises. In November 2001, a net 18 per cent of local small and medium businesses considered that the ACT government's policies had a positive effect on their businesses. In November 2002-that is, after one year of Labor government-a net 10 per cent of local small and medium enterprises considered that the ACT government's policies had a negative effect on their businesses.

That is a turnaround of some 28 per cent from overall confident to overall not confident-or not positive-about the government's business policies. Why does the Yellow Pages index show such a dramatic turnaround in support for your government's business policies in only 12 months?

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the minister for business is not responsible for the Yellow Pages survey. Mr Humphries is asking why the Yellow Pages survey shows this result. Surely that would be a matter for the Yellow Pages survey-not the minister for business.

Mr Humphries: On that point of order, Mr Speaker: if negative criticism of the government could not be commented upon because the government minister was not responsible for that commentary-

Mr Corbell: You need to rephrase the question.

MR HUMPHRIES: All right. I will rephrase the question, to satisfy Mr pedant Corbell.

MR SPEAKER: Okay, Mr Humphries-in rephrase mode!

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