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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 452 ..


This amendment simply reiterates the points that I and other members of the government, including the Chief Minister, have made in the debate this morning—that is, if Mrs Dunne believes that Mr Sullivan has transgressed, equally, there is a clear argument that Mrs Dunne herself may have transgressed when it comes to the issue of misleading the Assembly committee.

I again draw to the Assembly’s attention the fact that Mrs Dunne advised the public accounts committee on 18 February that Mr Sullivan had informed shareholders in writing that he had been authorised to spend $149 million and that the total out-turn cost was $149.8 million. That was incorrect, Mr Speaker. In fact, Mr Sullivan advised the shareholders of the approval by the board of the total budget of $149 million and that the total out-turn cost was only $116.7 million.

Mrs Dunne has sought to besmirch the good name of an effective and highly regarded senior official in the broader ACT administration. She has sought to do so on flimsy grounds, and yet she is not prepared to see her own actions subjected to the same scrutiny. If she believes so strongly that Mr Sullivan has transgressed, she must admit that, based on her own actions, she herself has also transgressed and she should be subject to this privilege process. That is why I have moved these amendments.

MR SPEAKER: The question is that Mr Corbell’s amendments be agreed to.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.07): I will speak to Mr Corbell’s amendments and Ms Bresnan’s amendment at large, for utility and time management purposes.

The government, in an attempt to cover its confusion, has tried to cast its net very widely indeed, to try and bring as many people as possible into this, and has created a bit of a farrago as a result. It has been brought to my attention that Mr Sullivan, in a rather unprecedented letter—I cannot recall an occasion when someone who was written about under the standing orders in relation to privilege has actually intervened in this way; it is unusual, and I will not make any further comment than that—says that I claimed that the TOC was $149 million. I have not had an opportunity to review all of the Hansard from last Thursday; I only have two pages of it in front of me. I will, for the information of members, read out what I said at the time. On proof page 233 I said:

Does the paper advise the board that the committee’s total project cost, comprising the approved TOC and the owner’s costs, is $149.793 million, including provisional sums of $7 million for the mini-hydro and $2.3 million for approvals?

So it is quite clear there, Mr Speaker, that I clearly understand the difference between the TOC and the total project cost. A quick perusal of the Hansard, the bits that I have, shows that I do say, on proof page 234:

You wrote to the shareholders, Minister Gallagher and Mr Stanhope, on 22 May and told them that you had been authorised to spend $149 million and that the TOC was $149 … million.

That is clearly a mistake on my part, Mr Speaker; I acknowledge that. I will undertake to peruse the rest of the Hansard to make sure that there are no other mistakes, and I


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