Page 6018 - Week 18 - Thursday, 12 December 1991

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MR SPEAKER: I can, Mrs Grassby, because that question was basically asked during the Estimates Committee review. I advise that extra equipment was purchased by Mr Stevenson - a Macintosh system that had a higher transmission rate. A Netcomm modem was purchased and an optical scanner was also purchased. Mr Stevenson requested permission of the Speaker to hook up this equipment. In my absence, the Deputy Speaker refused permission on the basis that it might be an uncontrollable debt to the Assembly, in that we did not know what rates were applicable to that equipment.

I have been told by Mr Stevenson - in fact, I have it on paper over his signature - that he conducted a test to see whether the equipment did work. It was disconnected after the test. He then applied for permission, permission was denied and he did not thereafter use that equipment. I inform members that I have personally checked this day, and the equipment is sitting in Mr Stevenson's office not hooked up.

Member's Facsimile Equipment

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question has to do with the same matter and is addressed to you. I have with me a copy of a piece of information put out by Mr Stevenson's office that was referred to this morning on the Morning Show of Matthew Abraham - a piece of CEC campaign headquarters information with the fax number of Mr Stevenson on it and including the name of one Lex Stuart, who I believe actually worked for Mr Stevenson at one time. Mr Speaker, is it appropriate that members use taxpayers' facilities for a political campaign for somebody outside the ACT?

MR SPEAKER: That is a difficult question to answer on the information available to me. Of course, we all have various staff working in our offices, and it would be a different issue if the member himself did not transmit this notice but one of his staff did. I must say that it would seem inappropriate and, unless I did an in-depth analysis of the situation, I would not intend to take the matter further.

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question. Mr Speaker, of course the fuss has been over one fax and there is no evidence that the facility was used more than once. Nevertheless, considering the seriousness of the matter, do you believe that this matter warrants further investigation?

MR SPEAKER: At this stage I would have to take that on notice, Mr Moore.

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