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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1674 ..


Privileges—Select Committee

Statement by member

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra), by leave: I refer to my letter to the Speaker of 30 March, and I now advise the Assembly as follows: on 23 February last, the Assembly established a Select Committee on Privileges to inquire into certain statements made by the Managing Director of Actew Corporation, Mr Mark Sullivan, in hearings of the Select Committee on Estimates 2009-2010 on 18 May 2009.

Members will recall that, prior to the debate on that matter, the Speaker tabled a letter dated 23 February that Mr Sullivan had written. In that letter, Mr Sullivan stated:

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.

He went on to say:

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.

During the debate, I undertook to check Hansard of my use of the various terminologies during the hearing of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on 18 February at which Mr Sullivan gave evidence. I reviewed the Hansard transcript of the committee hearing of 18 February, and I wrote to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, to advise you of my findings, and I advised as follows: as transcribed on page 324, I asked Mr Sullivan:

…why did you tell the committee that the TOC was only in final form …

The word “final” should have been “draft”, and that was a slip of the tongue, a misspeaking on my part. That is what the role of a member is—if the member makes a mistake, he or she comes into this place and corrects it. Also on page 324, I stated:

… the TOC was $149.8 million.

The word “TOC” should have read “total project cost”. I note that I described the figure as such on page 233 of the transcript. I also note on page 253 that, during the hearing, I tabled a number of documents. I left it as a matter for the committee as to whether those documents should be published. Those documents made it clear as to the various terminologies and their associated costs. I apologised to the committee in my letter to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, for any confusion that was caused by my misuse of the terminologies, and I do so now before the Assembly.

What it boils down to is the fact that my use of the word “TOC” instead of the phrase “total project cost” was a slip of the tongue. No doubt, a slip of the tongue, too, was behind Mr Sullivan’s use of the word “TOC” instead of the phrase “total project cost” during an interview on 2CC on 19 February. He said:


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