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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4693..

Tuesday, 9 December 1997


MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


MR SPEAKER: I present, for the information of members and pursuant to subsection 8(4) of the Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act 1997, an authorisation to broadcast given to a number of television and radio networks in relation to proceedings of the Assembly for today, 9 December 1997, concerning the presentation of the report of the board of inquiry into contractual arrangements between ACTTAB and VITAB, and for Thursday, 11 December 1997, concerning the adjournment debate.


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (10.32): Mr Speaker, for the information of members and pursuant to section 14A of the Inquiries Act 1991, I present the Board of Inquiry Report into Matters Relating to Contractual Arrangements between ACTTAB and VITAB and Other Matters, prepared by Richard Burbidge, QC. The inquiry was established in response to the resolution of the Assembly of 26 June 1997. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Mr Speaker, this report has finally revealed the true story behind what is the most serious financial and political scandal to occur in the ACT since self-government. It has identified fraud, deception, obfuscation, incompetence and maladministration flowing from an agreement that only three years ago was hailed as being "money for jam" by the then Labor Deputy Chief Minister, Wayne Berry. In light of the report I am presenting today, that business deal agreed to by Mr Berry stands discredited. The report raises serious questions about the lack of accountability that existed under the previous Government at the time that Mr Berry was Deputy Chief Minister. It reveals that just three days before the public announcement of the VITAB deal Mr Berry was warned by his counterpart in New South Wales to be wary of developments in offshore betting activities. The fact that Mr Berry ignored this and other warnings has cost the ACT at least $5m.

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