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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 5 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1674..


Privileges—Select Committee

Statement by member

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra), by leave: I refer to my letter to the Speaker of 30 March, and I now advise the Assembly as follows: on 23 February last, the Assembly established a Select Committee on Privileges to inquire into certain statements made by the Managing Director of Actew Corporation, Mr Mark Sullivan, in hearings of the Select Committee on Estimates 2009-2010 on 18 May 2009.

Members will recall that, prior to the debate on that matter, the Speaker tabled a letter dated 23 February that Mr Sullivan had written. In that letter, Mr Sullivan stated:

Mrs Dunne advised the committee that I had informed shareholders in writing that I had been authorised to spend $149m and that the TOC was $149.8m.

He went on to say:

That statement is incorrect. I advised the shareholders of the approval by the board of the total budget of $149.8m. Documents which Mrs Dunne tabled at the Committee hearing will confirm this. The TOC is $116.7m.

During the debate, I undertook to check Hansard of my use of the various terminologies during the hearing of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on 18 February at which Mr Sullivan gave evidence. I reviewed the Hansard transcript of the committee hearing of 18 February, and I wrote to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, to advise you of my findings, and I advised as follows: as transcribed on page 324, I asked Mr Sullivan:

...why did you tell the committee that the TOC was only in final form ...

The word "final"should have been "draft", and that was a slip of the tongue, a misspeaking on my part. That is what the role of a member is—if the member makes a mistake, he or she comes into this place and corrects it. Also on page 324, I stated:

... the TOC was $149.8 million.

The word "TOC"should have read "total project cost". I note that I described the figure as such on page 233 of the transcript. I also note on page 253 that, during the hearing, I tabled a number of documents. I left it as a matter for the committee as to whether those documents should be published. Those documents made it clear as to the various terminologies and their associated costs. I apologised to the committee in my letter to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, for any confusion that was caused by my misuse of the terminologies, and I do so now before the Assembly.

What it boils down to is the fact that my use of the word "TOC"instead of the phrase "total project cost"was a slip of the tongue. No doubt, a slip of the tongue, too, was behind Mr Sullivan's use of the word "TOC"instead of the phrase "total project cost"during an interview on 2CC on 19 February. He said:


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