Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 717 ..
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, in response to the Auditor-General’s report on the CFMEU land swap, you said on 22 February 2018, “It puts the matter to bed.” You also sent the head of your directorate to face media questions rather than answer the questions yourself. Minister, why did you claim that the Auditor-General’s report put the CFMEU land swap deal to bed, given the serious failures in governance identified in the Auditor-General’s report?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Milligan for his question. It was directly in relation to the questions put to me at the time. I did feel that those had been answered and that that had put the matter to bed.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why did you fail to answer questions from the media after the report was released?
MR GENTLEMAN: I answered several questions from the media; in fact, I went in front of the cameras to answer questions in regard to the Auditor-General’s report.
MR COE: Minister, do you stand by your comments that the matter has been put to bed? Did you discuss the government’s response to the A-G’s report—that is, the direct response to the A-G’s report, as opposed to the one that is published after the report—with the CFMEU before the A-G published?
MR GENTLEMAN: I did not discuss the government’s response with the CFMEU and I stand by my earlier comments.
Chief Minister—communications strategy
MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in the whole-of-government communications and engagement strategy, part of the approach is “stimulating and supporting public discourse”. Chief Minister, how does saying that you hate journalists and that you are over mainstream media stimulate and support public discourse?
MR BARR: On one level it may have stimulated debate on the matter a little, ironically. I guess it would be fair to say that there has been more attention drawn to the government’s intent to communicate broadly than was the case before. But I do not think that I need to elaborate any further on the extensive comments I have made in this place already.
MISS C BURCH: Chief Minister, why does the communications and engagement strategy fail to include traditional media as a “deliberative engagement method” for informing the public?
MR BARR: I think that it is taken as a given, that the government continues to engage with the traditional media.