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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5006..

MR MOORE (8.27): I take this opportunity to say that even as late as last night, when I was at my children's bush dance at school, I was lobbied on this very issue. The lobbying was very enthusiastically for, I have to say.

MR SPEAKER: Relevance, Mr Moore.

MR MOORE: It is totally relevant, Mr Speaker. These amendments will ensure that this is a significant Bill and a successful Bill. The very thing that I was being lobbied on was to have a successful Bill and to get it through.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.


Debate resumed from 9 December 1997, on motion by Mrs Carnell:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR KAINE (Minister for Urban Services) (8.28): Mr Speaker, I have to say that the tabling of the Burbidge report was not one of the happiest days for me in my many years as a member of this Assembly and its preceding bodies because it has brought home to me most forcefully how careful in public life one has to be. I do not only mean as an elected member, as a politician if you like, but also as a public servant. When you read this report of a matter that has been in abeyance, I suppose, for three years, the thing that strikes you about it is the words that are scattered through it - "fraud", "deception", "obfuscation", "incompetence", "maladministration". It is of great concern to me that the administration of this city and this Territory has been so badly misled and deceived. Mr Burbidge uses the word "deception" in his report. What we now know, after three years, is that as a result of fraud, deception, obfuscation, incompetence and maladministration, the taxpayers of the ACT have had to carry a very large financial burden. The Chief Minister put the total cost as something of the order of $5m. We know that there was a payout of $3.3m, which makes up a very large part of that sum. Then there are all of the costs since then in trying to determine just what happened and how it was that we came to have to make that payout of $3.3m and to incur all of the other costs that have flowed from that. We now have a report which seems, on the face of it, to tell the complete story. We will never know, of course, whether or not we do have the complete story, but at least I think we have enough information now to know the essentials of what happened three years ago.

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