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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 1995) . . Page.. 1631 ..

But, Mr Berry, I will tell you this as well: I will be making more inquiries throughout the States, and I doubt very much whether you will see that much of that has been done. It seems to be common practice throughout the States that people in that situation are doing their job and they are paid for by their respective States. Because there might be just some slight problem there, and because of any perception which you - - -

Mr Berry: A slight problem?

MR STEFANIAK: Ha, ha, Mr Berry; but I will get back to you on that. I am happy to refund that, because I think in the circumstances that is the simplest thing to do.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I would be interested to hear from the Minister why it has taken so long for him to make up his mind on this issue. This was a matter that was raised some time ago, on 24 August, and the Minister said that he would do something about it. Would the Minister now agree that he has been caught out?

MR STEFANIAK: Hardly, Mr Berry. I think with VITAB you were the one who was caught out.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Inferences are out of order in questions.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, I try to do the job as best I possibly can. That was tendered, Mr Berry. This is a very open, consultative government. Mrs Carnell will regularly tender anything to do with ministerial travel or anything to do with the Executive, unlike you lot. We had to get that out of you. I can recall your colleague Ms McRae having to be dragged over the coals in relation to travel to Tasmania supposedly to look at the Hare-Clark system. That had to be got out of the 1992-93 estimates.

So, it is not a matter of being caught out. How can you be caught out, Mr Berry, when you actually tender a document laying out exactly what has happened? That is just straight, basic honesty, and I resent that question. I suspect that I would probably be very rare in saying that this should be paid back. It will be paid back, Mr Berry.

Mr Berry: And so it should be.

MR STEFANIAK: I do not know whether it should be or not. I think we are probably setting a precedent. Mr Berry, I am sure that my colleagues and I will use that precedent if you people do that again. I have no dramas whatsoever in paying that back, and that will be done, Mr Berry. And I resent your accusations.

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