Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 (Hansard) 16 May) . . Page.. 1408 ..
MR SPEAKER (continuing):
In 1980 Keith joined the staff of the House of Assembly as administration officer and as Serjeant-at-Arms. He was employed in this capacity until a prorogation of the House of Assembly in 1986. He then returned to the Department of the Capital Territory and undertook placements with the Department of Administrative Services and the Australian Taxation Office, before taking up duties in the Housing Trust in 1988.
In February 1989, Keith became Serjeant-at-Arms in the Assembly Secretariat, and it is in this position that most of us have got to know him. I, and no doubt other members, have been impressed with the courteous manner in which Keith has undertaken his duties, his ability and professionalism, and his sense of duty. He has had a long and distinguished career serving the Territory in particular. On behalf of all members, I pass on to Keith and his wife, Margaret, our very best wishes for the future.
MS McRAE (5.48): Mr Speaker, I want to put on the record today my extreme disappointment at the way the Chief Minister has responded to questioning on the detail in relation to the treatment of the Kingston site. Let me outline why we consider this to be of such importance. Firstly, Mrs Carnell's comment was at odds with other publicly available information. This information was in the form of public announcements, press releases, exchanges of letters and information in Hansard before an Assembly committee. It was the basis of information we all shared, and her public comment was at direct odds with that.
We wanted all that verified. It is quite correct for Assembly members to ask questions to verify matters that seem to be at odds one with another in terms of public statements that are made by our leaders, particularly by our Chief Minister. I, for one, had not heard Mr Prattley's interview on the radio. It was simply that - an interview. It was not anything on any public record we were given. It was not information that was then passed on to the Planning and Environment Committee. The interview was on 24 April; the Planning and Environment Committee met on 28 April, and it was not information that was then reported or repeated to that committee. So, whilst Mr Prattley clearly was giving a public impression that there was some talk about the contamination on the Kingston site, according to Mrs Carnell's account of it today, there was nothing on a further public record which was then offered to Mr Prattley and others to make comment before the Planning and Environment Committee. There have been differences of opinion, of interpretation, about publicly available information.
Every bit of evidence that was available to me and to others related to the private sector paying for the clean-up of the Kingston site, and in answers to questions in the house, both to me and to Ms Tucker, that was the information we were provided with. Now, there is no problem with that. It is quite accurate and true information. We have no problem with that, except that there was never any mention made at that point either about the Commonwealth's ongoing role and, lo and behold, the new discovery of the self-government Act and its implication for that information. We were simply told categorically that the private sector would pay.