Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2005 2005) . . Page.. 3159 ..
Mr Hargreaves: It is your natural shyness!
MR STANHOPE: When you get objective observers with the particular world view that Mr Jeffreys has, thinking up these things about some of his colleagues within the profession, one wonders. You know well the point I made, Mr Stefaniak, because you preceded me, making some quite outrageous statements which you repeated a number of times in relation to certain facts.
The context is precisely this: as you know, I responded to the specific remarks you made in relation to the cost of the application and the claim that has been put about—that I have seen reported repeatedly—about my involvement in supporting the application costing ACT taxpayers $1.8 million. As everybody knows, that is simply not true because the vast majority of that amount was covered by insurance, although not all of it.
MR STEFANIAK: You said it was all of it!
MR STANHOPE: No, no. The point I made—and I will endeavour to get the transcript, Mr Stefaniak—I remember well. You made the claim again, as you have made repeatedly, that I joined the application at a cost to the ACT government of $1.8 million and that the fact that I joined the application had delayed the coronial inquest by 10 months. What I said to Mr Jeffreys was that the application would have been made in any event by the nine individuals. It would still have taken 10 months and to say, as you have been saying repeatedly, ad nauseam, that—
Mr Stefaniak: You said it would cost us nothing, though.
MR STANHOPE: No, let me finish. You made two claims, Mr Stefaniak: one, that my involvement had cost the taxpayer $1.8 million; and, two, that my involvement had delayed the inquest by 10 months. Let me correct the record. The fact that I joined an application that was occurring anyway, which would have happened, did not add one single day to the inquest because the application would have been made in any event. The fact that there were 10, and not nine, parties to the application did not add a single day to the application. I remember precisely what you said, Mr Stefaniak.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, direct your comments through the chair, please.
MR STANHOPE: You said, “The Attorney-General now has to acknowledge that he has cost the taxpayer $1.8 million and he has delayed the inquest by 10 months.” Neither of those assertions is true. They are both false. My involvement did not add one single day to a process that would have run in any event. The ACT government’s costs through the ACT government’s joining the application, as such, did not add any cost because the costs were covered by insurance. The costs that were not covered by insurance were the costs of the DPP, which would have been incurred in any event, because there were nine other applicants. It is quite clear and straightforward, Mr Stefaniak. You have been spinning and spinning and misleading, misleading, misleading on this. What you have said is simply false. I make the point that it is false.