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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1103..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

For instance, in the context of the hospital implosion and the report of the coroner on that, one of the interesting and yet-to-be revealed details of some of that criticism was the severely flawed nature of cabinet submissions and decisions taken by the cabinet on that. We look forward to seeing those cabinet submissions which I believe will become available in a couple of months time. Under our documents release legislation here in the ACT, we will see, 10 years after the event, what the Liberal government were so determined not to reveal or disclose on those particular cabinet documents and those particular decisions that were taken.

We have had the same debate on the Bruce Stadium fiasco and the decisions that were taken to break the law by way of the infamous overnight loan. Decisions were taken on that particular budget by that cabinet of which Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak were members. You both have your fingerprints on the overnight loan and the cabinet decisions made on that, which have been so critically commented on by auditors-general. We, of course, were very interested in seeing those cabinet documents.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth, no more!

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: he cannot mislead the Assembly. I was not in that cabinet.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.

MR STANHOPE: We are interested in seeing the cabinet-in-confidence documents, in the budget context, on the funding of Bruce Stadium. There are matters of significant public interest on decisions which Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak took on Bruce Stadium. We sought access to those documents, as one would, and we were refused. We accepted the refusal, but there was no harm in asking. We asked, and we asked in this place in motions identical to this, that those cabinet budget documents on the funding of Bruce Stadium be released for public debate.

Mr Smyth: Did you change your mind?

MR STANHOPE: No. We asked the question, as you are asking today, and we were unsuccessful. We moved the motions; we asked the questions; we asked for cabinet documents on Bruce Stadium to be tabled in the way that you today are asking for budget documents to be tabled. You refused, and we accepted the refusal; just as we will refuse today and just as I know you will accept the refusal.

These are budget cabinet documents. We asked for them in relation to Bruce Stadium. I know we did. I moved the motion. You refused to release them. Why did you refuse to release them? You refused to release them on the basis of cabinet confidentiality and all the principles under the Westminster system applying to the release of cabinet-in-confidence budget documentation. That is the basis on which you refused to


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