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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 05 Hansard (Friday, 14 May 2004) . . Page.. 1957 ..

or been about me or had any reference to the desirability or otherwise of my attending the Emergency Services Bureau.

From this distance it is probably possible to develop a whole range of constructions about who said what, what they said and meant; and whether or not instructions were given or whether or not understandings were conveyed. I simply have no way of even divining the basis on which the words “Chief Minister Tim Keady” appeared in Commander Newton’s notebook. It is simply just not possible for me to even speculate.

What I can do is repeat what I have previously said. I drove to the Emergency Services Bureau of my own volition. I do everything of my own volition. At 12.40, while I was in Curtin, I received a telephone call from Mr Tim Keady. He did in that call indicate to me that he felt it appropriate that I then attend the Emergency Services Bureau. I can assure you that he did not say, “Chief Minister, you are late for a meeting” or “Chief Minister, where are you? I was expecting you.” What Mr Keady said was to advise me that he felt it appropriate that I attend.

But as for other issues, for me to speculate would be idle and dangerous. I cannot do that. Perhaps others can but I certainly cannot. I think, really, to do justice to Commander Newton, as I understand her evidence—and I have not looked at it closely—she did indicate that she was not entirely sure what it meant. She uses words to that effect—I cannot remember but I read it in the Canberra Times this morning. But she said she recollects that this is what it may have been about. I think others may have other recollections. I do not know. I was not there. I do not know what people were saying.

It is not possible for me to speculate on whether there was a discussion and somebody said it would be appropriate perhaps for the Chief Minister to actually be invited to attend Emergency Services Bureau at 12.30. The reference could be to that—the suggestion that at 12.30 or thereabouts Mr Keady ring me and ask me to come to the Emergency Services Bureau. In fact, he rang me at 12.40. It may be that there was some discussion amongst officials in which one said to the other, “Look, why don’t we seek to have the Chief Minister attend here at 12.30.” I do not know. I am just positing another possible explanation. But who knows. In a way there is just nothing to gained by me putting up a range of possibilities because anyone here could stand up and present another possibility. It is something that is simply beyond my knowledge and my ken.

I drove to the Emergency Services Bureau of my own volition. As I say, I do everything of my own volition. I choose what I do—nobody else chooses or decides for me. And at 12.40 Mr Keady rang me up.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister’s time has expired.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, why do you persist with this cock-and-bull story that the community just does not believe and which is inconsistent with the known facts of the matter?

MR STANHOPE: There are a range of issues in relation to these matters that continue to confuse me, Mr Speaker. One thing I am sure of, and that is that at no time was it ever suggested to me that I meet on the top of Red Hill.

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