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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 443 ..


On receiving and reviewing the draft Hansard of the Committee’s hearing shortly after the 18 May 2009, I had no reason to believe that I had misled the Committee or that clarification or correction should be provided. I considered the words I had used reflected the commercial situation and the arrangements that existed at that time.

As I acknowledged to Mrs Dunne during the Public Accounts Committee hearing on Thursday 18 February … on reflection, it may have been more prudent to have used less direct language than that which I had used in May 2009. I have repeated a number of times, that I regret the choice of words I used in May 2009 and have apologised for that but I have not mislead the Assembly or the Committee.

I wish to clarify a matter raised by Mrs Dunne with the Public Accounts Committee on 18 February 2010. Mrs Dunne advised the committee that I had informed shareholders in writing that I had been authorised to spend $149m and that the TOC was $149.8m. That statement is incorrect. I advised the shareholders of the approval by the board of the total budget of $149.8m. Documents which Mrs Dunne tabled at the Committee hearing will confirm this. The TOC is $116.7m.

I am concerned about inaccurate and incorrect statements being made both in Committee hearings and in the media. Of particular concern is a media release issued by Mrs Dunne last Friday in which she said that I had admitted to knowingly misleading the Estimates Committee in May 2009. I made no such comment or admission and a review of hansard will confirm that.

I trust that the above explanation regarding my evidence to the Select Committee on Estimates satisfies the Assembly that the establishment of a Select Committee on Privileges to conduct an inquiry into the responses I provided is unwarranted.

Regrettably not, Mr Sullivan.

I have copied this letter to the Deputy Speaker … as I understand this matter has been referred to her.

It is quite clear in the questioning by Mrs Dunne of Mr Sullivan that Mrs Dunne clearly misunderstood the difference between the total project cost and the total out-turn cost. The difficulty we have here is that Mrs Dunne was confused. Mrs Dunne had no idea that there were two costs or costings—that there was a total project cost and there was a total out-turn cost. She was actually speaking about one, thinking she was speaking about the other, or not knowing that the other existed. As Mr Sullivan says in his letter, Mrs Dunne misunderstood; Mrs Dunne misled the committee; Mrs Dunne has misled the people of Canberra in her questioning and in her statements here today.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, if Mr Stanhope wants to say that I misled the committee and therefore the Assembly, he has to do that in a substantive motion.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, there is a substantive amendment before the Assembly currently—it has been circulated—to include Mrs Dunne. For


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