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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 637..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Opposition to ponder those things and give serious consideration to his responsibility to his colleagues, his staff and all members of the Liberal staff.

Stanhope ministry

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to the love-in that the ministry held recently at Bungendore. I thank the minister for his prompt answering of my question and for providing me with the information that the cost of the two facilitators for the exercise at Bungendore was $17,323-

Mrs Cross: How much?

MRS DUNNE: It was $17,323 plus travel. Chief Minister, can you advise the Assembly what benefits accrued from this expenditure? Is it a fact that it was a belated transition-to-government exercise that you had neglected to carry out before the election and that you and your ministers were being taught at the taxpayers' expense how to govern after three months of hopelessly wallowing in the mire?

MR STANHOPE: The ministry did spend a weekend at Bungendore, coincidentally on the weekend that the Liberals went off somewhere else. It is interesting, isn't it, that we had a love-in? What did you have? Did you have a love-in or was your one a serious strategic planning weekend? Was your one a reflective mea culpa on how you lost the election, why you lost it and why you are not going to do so again? Is that what the Liberals did? It would be interesting to reflect on that. When I came back here I was so amused to see Mr Humphries looking very serious, as if to say, "We have learnt our lesson. We did not listen to the people. We will consult next time; trust us next time." That was the nature of the Liberals weekend away.

We did go away and we did utilise the services of facilitators. As I understand it, and I will confirm it with Mr Tonkin, the facilitators whose services we utilised were facilitators that were held on retainer by the Chief Minister's Department and were actually put on retainer when Mr Humphries was Chief Minister. I understand that the facilitators have a long-term contract that was entered into under the previous government, that they are held on retainer by the Chief Minister's Department. I believe that that is so, but I will confirm it with Mr Tonkin. I understand that to be the case.

Mrs Dunne, I am intrigued about this interest of yours in reviews and the cost of them. One of the irritations I have about the way in which Mr Humphries' and your concerns about the number of reviews and investigations that the government is undertaking, as reported by our friends in the media, is that they did not consider the possibility that some of the reviews were designed to save money. One of the reviews that Mr Humphries singled out for special mention on the ABC the other morning was the review into the use of cars by members. Of course, that is a matter of particular interest to you, Mrs Dunne, because your car costs the taxpayers about $300 a month more than those of the rest of us. You made application for a special car to suit your special personal circumstances.

Mr Humphries: And you approved it.


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