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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 478..


Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, there is no standing order that says you cannot make some reference to the Liberal Party in a question. I am not aware of any standing order that says that. Nor is there a standing order that says you cannot begin a question with "Given that". I can give you plenty of examples of questions that include that kind of phrase that would not be considered as having a preamble-for example, "Given that you said the opposite yesterday, will you now concede you are wrong?" Is that a preamble? It would be foolish to suggest that. I would ask you to reconsider the ruling you have made.

MR SPEAKER: No, I have ruled on the matter.

Tourism and Events Corporation-appointment of chief executive officer

MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Deputy Chief Minister and relates to the recent appointment of Mr Ross MacDairmid as chief executive officer of the Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation. I ask: can the minister advise the house if the appointment was made in accordance with the appropriate legislation?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Ms MacDonald. The answer is: the appointment was certainly made within the terms of the legislation. The CTEC Act clearly states that the appointment of the CEO falls under the public service management provisions and is, therefore, made by the chief executive of the Chief Minister's Department.

I can also advise the house that I sought legal advice before the appointment was made to confirm that the appointment was the chief executive's to make and not mine. It is clear; it is in black and white; it is in the act; no ambiguity whatsoever-which, Mr Speaker, I have to say is why it is surprising that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition then goes ahead and makes completely unfounded and irresponsible claims that I have personally interfered with due process.

The accusation that one has interfered with due process is quite serious. I have recollections, when sitting on the other side of the house during the last Assembly, of Mr Smyth more than once being required to stand and withdraw or apologise or correct some intemperate or hasty remark that he had made. I would actually counsel the Leader of the Opposition to keep a weather eye on this particular habit that seems to have grown, because Mr Smyth quite clearly got this wrong-not only got it wrong but went on to loudly display his ignorance on radio and through the Canberra Times.

I do think that this house should aspire to higher standards than that. There were a couple of grubby incidents that I was virtually the subject of during the last Assembly, and I do hope that, from this point on, we will have a higher standard in this Assembly.

With relation to the appointment itself, let me say that, as minister, I am not a cipher or a rubber-stamp. I will take advice. I will always allow those that advise me to advise in a free and fearless manner, but I will also administer my responsibilities and I will be responsible.

There seems to have been a continuing theme in this place that past ministers of this place were not responsible for anything. Quite clearly, in this place, you cannot be responsible for every action taken by every administrator, but there are serious matters


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