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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2015 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

The other question that was asked yesterday was about members of my staff. I think it was from Mr Connolly. Strictly speaking, departmental liaison officers, I am advised, discuss all sorts of issues from time to time.

Mr Berry: Ah! Did your DLO discuss it?

MR DE DOMENICO: "Ah!", says Mr Berry. My DLO, in fact, discussed whether it was appropriate and whether the processes had been adhered to, when she saw that Harold Hird and Associates had won the bid for the auction, but after the bid was allocated. She was advised by the department: Yes, the due and proper processes were adhered to. That being the case, there was nothing any Minister of any government could do. Can I also note, in answering Mr Wood's question and any other questions, that this process that everybody has been talking about was initiated in September 1994. By whom? By the people who were in government then. Once again, I welcome the Auditor-General's review. If the Auditor-General says, for example, "The process is not good", we will change it. But let me say that this is a process that was initiated in September 1994 by the former Follett Labor Government. I am advised that the process is a quite good process. However, if the Auditor-General believes that the process is not good - - -

Mr Wood: Yesterday you stood by it. Yesterday you said that it was a great process.

MR DE DOMENICO: I believe that it is a good process, Mr Wood, because that is what I am advised, and you believed that it was, too, because you initiated it.

Mr Wood: We did not do it your way, mate.

MR DE DOMENICO: I think you did. I will take on that interjection. Mr Wood, I will tell you who won the contract last year to auction the taxi plates. Surprise, surprise! Harold Hird and Associates. You, the Labor Government, gave it to Harold Hird and Associates. Mr Wood, thank you. Are there any more interjections?

The other interesting point is that I am also advised that some other organisation very friendly to Mr Wood and this mob were going to use Harold Hird and Associates until about a week ago. I am advised that even the Labor Club had contracted Harold Hird and Associates as well. We believe that your process is a quite good process. We are advised that it is a good process. If the Auditor-General advises otherwise, we will take heed of what the Auditor-General says.

MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. What a lot of misleading, evasive claptrap that was. Mr Hird was not a member of this Assembly a year ago, Mr De Domenico. Were you not aware of that? I thank Mr De Domenico at least for some of the backtracking he did today, correcting some of the misrepresentations he made in the last couple of days. Will he further backtrack and come in tomorrow and correct himself? The first line of the Auditor-General's letter to Mrs Carnell says, "I received your letter requesting advice on appropriate guidelines". Will he go and look at all the words he said and see whether he has not misrepresented the situation?

MR DE DOMENICO: The answer is yes.

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