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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 24 August 1995) . . Page.. 1433 ..


Ministerial Travel

MR CONNOLLY: My question is also to Mr Stefaniak, the Minister for Education. Minister, in April the Chief Minister published a document entitled “Guidelines for Ministerial Conduct”. It was silent on a number of matters - personal conduct, sexual harassment, interference in appeal processes. Given that general silence, I ask you to explain to this Assembly what standards you, as Minister, are expected to uphold in relation to the use of taxpayers’ money for trips to party political functions?

Mr Stefaniak: Would you like to be specific in relation to that?

MR CONNOLLY: The Minister seemed not to understand the question. The question, very specifically, was: What standards are you, as Minister, expected to uphold in relation to the use of taxpayer funds for trips to party political events?

Mr Kaine: The same ones that you invented when you were in government.

MR STEFANIAK: Exactly, Mr Connolly. I think Mr Kaine has almost answered it. You went to Hobart to meet some other Ministers who happened to be Labor Ministers, and I went to Adelaide to meet some coalition Ministers who happened to be Liberals. You have the documents there because, unlike your Government, Mr Connolly, we table details of ministerial travel on a regular basis.

MR CONNOLLY: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I have no difficulty with Mr Stefaniak, as Minister, attending a meeting with other Ministers, where, no doubt, official business was transacted. I do, however, ask: What was the justification for the expenditure of $405 for a passenger Duckworth, of Mr Stefaniak's office, to attend, unaccompanied by the Minister, a meeting described under “reasons for travel” as “Coalition advisers on education meeting” in Melbourne? That clearly appears to have been a party political meeting, as it was of coalition advisers, and the passenger was not accompanied by the Minister.

Mrs Carnell: It certainly was not the party conference in Hobart, with Mr Wedgwood.

MR CONNOLLY: The squawking Chief Minister might like to pay a little bit more attention to what this mistake-prone Minister is up to.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Connolly, my colleagues keep referring to trips you took to Hobart with staff. Let me say this, Mr Connolly; hear me out.

Mr Connolly: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. I attended no meeting of any ALP conference in Hobart.


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