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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2197..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

officials were fully entitled to conduct the meeting, and that there was no substance to the allegations made to me. Having been satisfied that ACT WorkCover's investigation was proper and that it was being conducted in a professional manner, I took and have continued to take no action in relation to this matter.

My staff member was contacted by the director of ACT WorkCover on 20 July regarding his attendance at the meeting. The director was informed that his presence was merely as an observer and that he had no intention to interfere in the investigation and would not interfere. I table the file note of that conversation as generated by the director of ACT WorkCover.

Mr Berry: Is that all that exists on file?

MR DE DOMENICO: Back down a bit; you will learn a bit. Take notes. On 24 July 1995, the inspector who attended the meeting on 19 July wrote a memorandum to the director about the attendance of a member of my staff at the meeting. I table the memorandum. The inspector seems to feel that the presence of a member of a personal staff at a meeting constitutes interference. The tone of this memorandum is more reflective of the inspector's lack of knowledge of the political process, whereby it is not unusual for members of staff to attend meetings, rather than providing any substantiation of interference. This memorandum is drafted in quite florid terms and, while that is the prerogative of the author, his complaints relate to how he interpreted the facial expressions of my staff member, who was sitting there observing the meeting. I cannot comment on someone's feelings. However, it is difficult to deal with someone's response to what they perceive as body language they do not like. What is clear is that this is a far cry from interfering in the conduct of an investigation. This is not surprising, as there was no such conduct.

It should be noted that that document was generated after the telephone conversation between my staff member and the director, a conversation to which the inspector was not a party. It should also be noted that neither I nor any member of my staff has spoken to the inspector before or after this meeting on this matter or, to the best of my recollection, on any other matter. On 28 July 1995, four days after the inspector's minute was drafted and eight days after the conversation with the director of ACT WorkCover, the inspector's supervisor generated a minute which appears to be a commentary on the earlier comments made within the memorandum of 21 July. I table that memorandum as well.

It should be noted that the person who wrote the memorandum was not present at the meeting on 19 July 1995 and, as such, his comments are no more than an opinion on what appears to be the earlier minute and/or conversations with WorkCover officials who were in attendance at the meeting. The conclusions drawn by the author - a Mr Purse, who I believe is well known politically to Mr Berry - do not, in my opinion, follow from what he regards as the cogent facts, which are described in fairly emotional terms. I disagree with his views on this issue and with his conclusions. There is nothing within this or any other documents which constitutes impropriety on the part of my personal staffer or on my or anybody else's part.

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