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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 369..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

In addition, those cabinet ministers who were not called to give evidence or who were not asked by the coroner to appear—namely, Mr Ted Quinlan and Mr Bill Wood, the minister who arranged the briefing and who was the responsible minister on the day—and were not called or invited to make a statement to the coroner have, in statutory declarations, again supported the sworn statements of those five who gave evidence. There are seven sworn statements, under oath, that the conclusions that the coroner drew are without substance or foundation. How many statements or how much sworn evidence that supports the coroner are there? Who gave evidence on this matter or provided evidence that supports the coroner? No-one! The count is seven to nil. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Does the Leader of the Opposition have a supplementary question?

MR STEFANIAK: I think he should read it again. Mr Speaker, my supplementary is: Chief Minister, why didn't you?

MR STANHOPE: I, of course, have answered this question on a significant number of occasions and I believe that I gave sworn evidence on this subject, too, to the coroner. It is quite obvious, of course, that the Leader of the Opposition has not bothered to go to the evidence but I gave sworn evidence on this particular issue and, interestingly, so did all of those others that appeared on behalf of the government, including Mr Lucas-Smith and Mr Mike Castle, and, in their statutory declarations, Mr Ted Quinlan and Mr Bill Wood go to the very same issue. We at all times responded actively and appropriately to the advice of the expert officials that we as a government engaged to advise on these matters—at all times.

That is the sworn evidence of all of us, that is the sworn evidence of myself, that is the sworn evidence of Rod Tonkin, that is the sworn evidence of Tim Keady, that is the sworn evidence of Mike Castle, that is the sworn evidence of Peter Lucas-Smith, that is the sworn evidence of Ted Quinlan, that is the sworn evidence of Bill Wood, and confirmed by Mr Corbell as a minister at that cabinet meeting. That is the sworn evidence of the seven of us that attended the meeting and it is the public stated position of Mr Corbell—eight to none.

Bushfires—coronial inquest

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in the early afternoon of Saturday, 18 January 2003, there was a meeting involving you and a number of people from the ESB and senior officers from government departments. In relation to the involvement of the police in that meeting, according to the transcript of evidence of the coronial inquiry, the Chief Police Officer said:

I wasn't expected, as I understand it. I wasn't invited and I wasn't expected.

On 6 March 2007, you were asked about this meeting and you said:

Commissioner Murray was invited to the meeting ... It is not true to suggest that the commissioner was not invited. He was explicitly invited.


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