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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 4562..


to be shut down from asking those kinds of questions and making assertions about the conduct of ministers then there will be very little debate in this place.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Seselja. I think that the attorney is correct and that Mrs Dunne should withdraw personal imputations about him about a vendetta. I invite you to withdraw those imputations.

MRS DUNNE: Madam Assistant Speaker, I withdraw the word "vendetta". If necessary, I will come back after checking the record. I do not think that I used the word "personal", which is what I think Mr Corbell said, but to satisfy you, Madam Assistant Speaker, I withdraw the word "vendetta".

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: I do ask the question: what were the motivations of the attorney to pursue Mr Cahill through the latter stages of his service to the ACT and to contemplate at a very early stage and to raise this matter with me not once but on a number of occasions—

Members interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Corbell and Mr Seselja please do not continue debating across the chamber. Mrs Dunne has the floor.

MRS DUNNE: He raised with me not once but on a number of occasions the prospect of pursuing Mr Cahill into retirement. When the announcement was made that the attorney and government had set up a judicial commission, that prospect was raised in this place. The people of the ACT deserve to know what prompted this and what were the motivations of the Attorney-General who, as soon as this matter even looked like becoming public, went out and inflamed the situation by attending a media conference in a way which was quite unprecedented and quite unseemly for a person in his position.

He said to me that he did it because he was pestered by the media. The person who was supposed to stand up for the rights of the people of the ACT went out because he was too weak to withstand the blandishments of the ACT press corps. He was pestered by the media and he went out and made a comment in a way which was inappropriate for the circumstances that were currently afoot. That was the way he moved from there. He moved in a reckless and excitable way from that moment on. What we have here today is the attorney trying to draw a line over it and to say that there is nothing more to see here. There is plenty more to see here because this attorney caused expenditure of moneys, substantial expenditures of moneys. They have not all been accounted for and I will be pursuing that matter.

More than that, he pursued one of the longest serving judicial officers in this territory, resulting in his taking early retirement. He showed that he was intent on pursuing this man even into retirement. There are issues of this man's motivation that need to be addressed. There are issues of whether he exercised his judgement appropriately. I have had my doubts from the outset. I still have them. There are other members of the


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