Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 461 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
But let me say that quite a number of those suggestions made by the Canberra Business Council have now been embodied in the proposals that were included in the discussion paper-which was the process we were about.
I have got to put on record that a notable absentee in responding to that letter was the ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the chief executive of which met with officers of Business ACT on 14 May 2002 and extended the personal invitation for a written submission. No written submission emerged.
Bill, this is the question you should have asked if you wanted a bit of ginger. You asked about the launch yesterday and who was invited. We said that there wasn't a launch, so there wasn't an invitation list. But guess who turned up? Mr Peters of the Chamber of Commerce, whom-I cannot hide it, I have to confess-I described during the last Assembly as a serial government apologist because of his persistent "Liberal government, right or wrong; Kate Carnell, right or wrong,"no matter what happened. Mr Peters was first at it.
The previous government was caught out sending press releases to Mr Peters before they went to the media so that Mr Peters could put out his press release saying how good that press release was. The disappointing part of this was that Mr Peters found his way to the media event yesterday-just the interview site-was able to give an interview and was able to bag out the discussion paper. Here is a guy who was invited to contribute by letter, invited to contribute in person and who contributed zilch-but he now knows that the discussion paper is seriously deficient. I really look forward to the new Mr Peters.
I want to make it clear that I have a great deal of respect for the Chamber of Commerce and many of the members, including its chairman. But it seems that Mr Peters has immediate response rights without reference to the Chamber of Commerce. It is seriously disappointing that we have a situation where the chamber cannot respond.
Mr Smyth: The paper is disappointing.
MR QUINLAN: I just figure that the bagging rights belong to either those who made a positive contribution or those who were ignored totally. But Mr Peters fits into neither of those classes. He was too lazy or did not know enough to contribute, but he knows enough to tell you when it is wrong. From Mr Peters' perspective, Canberra's cup is half empty.
MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, what is the process from this point in the lead-up to the final paper, and how will these groups be included in the process? Will they be able to participate in the future?
MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Ms MacDonald. I certainly hope so. There are a number of people, including the aforementioned gentleman, who have now put themselves in the position where they are duty bound to contribute positively to this process.
Mr Smyth: It's your white paper. It's your ideas.
MR QUINLAN: No it's not. It is the paper we are putting together in consultation-