Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 445 ..
towards the citizens of this place go out the door. And then we see as the tide actually turns Mrs Dunne being the first to jump to her feet, saying: “Oh, look, it is not about what I think I should do; it is all about what I am telling others that they should do. I can mislead, but I do not have to stand and apologise and have my behaviour scrutinised. I just want to have others do that.”
It is the classic response—do as I say, not as I do. Here we have Mrs Dunne actually in the spotlight in relation to her behaviour, jumping immediately to her feet and saying: “This is not about me. This is about somebody else that I can score a cheap political point off or against. This is about my capacity as an elected member of this place to traduce the reputations of good people”—citizens who never, ever have that same capacity to defend themselves or to stand up.
Here we have Mrs Dunne clearly in her questioning within the committee misunderstanding completely and absolutely what it was she was talking about. She thought she was talking about the total out-turn costs when she was talking about the total project cost. This, of course, is the nub of the issue. I have no doubt that Mr Sullivan, when he goes to this issue before the committee, will actually make the point and the case, and the case will be proven and shown that he did not mislead. He clearly did not mislead. He was answering honestly and truthfully questions asked by Mrs Dunne. It is just that Mrs Dunne did not know what the question was she was asking, because she simply did not understand the concept.
She was asking questions, phrasing them as questions around the total out-turn cost when she was talking about the total project cost. Mr Sullivan was responding in his answers on the basis of the total project cost, not the total out-turn cost. So there was simply not a meeting between the questioner and the answerer in terms of what it was they were talking about. Mrs Dunne had a fixation in her ignorance that there was really only one cost. She called it the total out-turn cost—and misled the committee and everybody else—when she was talking about the total project cost. Mr Sullivan responded on the basis that he was talking about the total out-turn cost, because that was what the question was. The question was about the total out-turn cost. He answered in the context of the total out-turn cost, but Mrs Dunne thought he was talking about the total project cost, because she did not know the difference. It is Mrs Dunne who has misled. It is Mrs Dunne who is confused, and all the focus of this privileges inquiry should be on Mrs Dunne.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.48): What we are hearing from both Mr Stanhope and Mr Corbell, in arguing against this motion, is that more of the same is acceptable, that more of the same from this government is acceptable. And it comes from the top down.
We have seen the pattern of behaviour over the years. We saw just this morning Mr Corbell having to come back and admit that he had misled the Assembly, that he had misled the Assembly on the insulation program. He had to come back and correct the record because he gave misleading information at the first opportunity. The first opportunity he was given to answer questions about the insulation program, he misled the Assembly. And he not only had to come back and correct but of course his correction, which we will look at very closely, sought to blame everyone but himself; it sought to blame others.