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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1754..


MR STEFANIAK: I thank the Chief Minister for that. You may not be able to fully answer this, either. Can you assure the Assembly that both the management practices and the financial management of Rhodium are now in order?

MR STANHOPE: I went to some of that as to whether I can stand here today and give you a personal assurance. I cannot do that today. I can give you an assurance that there has been an external audit. I believe there have been two external audits of Rhodium to put beyond doubt issues that may have arisen. I believe that there have been audits by KPMG and by Ernst and Young. Those audits had raised issues in relation to financial management and management generally. Their reports have been fully embraced by the board.

My understanding is that every issue that has been raised has been vigorously pursued. I believe it was in the context of that that Maximus were engaged. I believe there is some continuing relationship in relation to services being provided by Maximus to Rhodium. It was in the context of management issues that were raised through external audits undertaken by both KPMG and Ernst and Young.

I cannot stand here today and give you the black-and-white assurance which you seek. I can assure you that issues in relation to the financial management of Rhodium have been identified by KPMG and Ernst and Young and that the reports of KPMG and Ernst and Young are being vigorously implemented. I can give you that assurance. I am more than happy to add to that answer anything which I will be subsequently advised as a result of your question. I will undertake to keep you fully informed.

Legislative Assembly-conduct of members and staff

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Is the Chief Minister aware of remarks made last year by the opposition leader and members of the opposition in respect of the resignation of a junior member of the Chief Minister's staff employed under the provisions of the lands act? Can the Chief Minister say if the same standards should apply to employers as apply to staff employed under the provisions of the lands act?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the member for the question. This is a serious matter. It creates some mirth amongst the opposition, but I would invite members of the opposition perhaps to ponder whether or not Aidan Bruford is laughing as loudly as the opposition laugh in relation to this particular question and the seriousness of this issue.

I think it is important that we actually address the issues raised and the question of principle raised in the question today. And it is important, of course, in the context of a new Leader of the Opposition, that we refer perhaps directly to the attitude which the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party obviously think appropriate in relation to issues of criminal transgression by the members of staff employed under the lands act in this place and the standard that will be applied to junior advisers and officers employed under the lands act.


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