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GUNNS LIMITED RESIDUAL LEGAL RIGHTS - SOLICITOR-GENERAL'S ADVICE

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I certainly make it clear that I will be supporting the motion before us. I will not be reiterating everything that has been said and I agree with most of it.

The money that is going to Gunns belongs to the taxpayers of Tasmania and it is their money. Comments were made here from the Government, from Lara Giddings, on Monday 29 August where she says over the past week Wise Lord and Ferguson has been reviewing all available evidence including legal opinion that Gunns Limited has residual legal rights over native forest contracts that can best extinguish through a legal settlement. All I can say is if that is the case then obviously, as I said, it is taxpayers' money that is going to them and it needs to be transparent, it needs to be open and there is a lot of concern and discontent in the community.

I appreciate the motion that is before us and I think the only way that people can accept what is happening here is to see the reasoning behind it and to actually see the residual legal rights and the information that they have. I will be supporting the motion.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I support this motion and I disagree with the previous speaker because I think what has changed is that before I thought it was either/or. I thought it was either a private briefing or we could debate this bill; now to me, to have the information before me so I could make an informed decision is what I am after and to be able to actually see the information and have a briefing I think is very useful, particularly collectively so that we could all talk together.

I am probably along the same lines as the member for Murchison and the member for Apsley in that I really would like some time to actually look at it but also collectively with other people who perhaps understand it more than I may, and I think with us all together.

I disagree, as I said, with the member for Rumney in that this is what has changed and I believe that what has changed is that we are now able to look at the information; we are able to collectively look at it, we are able to have a briefing and see it but also if we feel that we need to we can still come back to this Chamber and debate the bill we are debating now. Earlier on, it really appeared that it was either that or this and now we have the opportunity to have both. But, as I said, I agree totally with the change of date; I would like to see the information; I would like to make an informed decision and I feel at this time that the Government is allowing us to do that. When we come back here, we do not have to discuss what we have seen but if we feel that there is something that is noteworthy, then we need to make it public. We could still go the course we are going and I think for the sake of a few weeks of time, we actually should go down that course because at least we are actually going to get to see it and, to me, that is what is important to know and what I need to see to make an informed decision. I will be supporting the bill.

Mr Harriss - Just before you sit down - through you, Madam President - the other important thing, I think, as I recall and I will just check with the honourable member for Murchison, the honourable Premier's previous offer was for a briefing.

Mrs ARMITAGE - Yes, it was either/or.

Mr Harriss - It made no mention of access to the legal opinion, it just said we could have a briefing.

Mrs ARMITAGE - I was of the understanding previously that we could see it.

Mr Harriss - Yes, but it wasn't committed in writing. They've actually printed that in writing so now we understand clearly we'll be seeing the legal advice.

Mrs ARMITAGE - Absolutely, and then we could still come back if we are not happy.

Mr Harriss - Yes.

Mrs ARMITAGE - I see this as a win-win and I would appreciate the actual opportunity to have the briefing collectively to see it and still have the opportunity to come back and debate it. I have no problem and I will be supporting the motion.

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