Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 1984 ..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
is becoming a hallmark of leadership opposite. It reflects an immaturity, Mr Speaker, and a desperation to believe anything, to do anything and to say anything at all, without checking the facts. What Mr Whitecross has to do here is to start to check his facts before he gets stuck into public servants.
The staff of the Sharps Unit deserve an apology, Mr Speaker. Mind you, I do not expect an apology from Mr Whitecross, because I do not believe that Mr Whitecross has the guts to apologise. Yesterday he suggested that I was gutless. I think he should probably look a bit closer to home, Mr Speaker. I rest my case.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, no wonder the Government wants to have the afternoon off.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Ask your question, Mr Berry, or resume your seat.
MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister. You began question time yesterday by assuring the house that there had been no cost to the ACT taxpayers for the strange little love-in - the strategy meeting.
Mrs Carnell: I said that I would check and get back to you.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, she said, "No; we all paid for it ourselves". I remember hearing her say that.
Mrs Carnell: No; I said that the Ministers paid for themselves.
MR BERRY: Okay; the Ministers paid for themselves. That was a slippery little move. Anyway, there were no costs for the full Cabinet, the most senior executives in the Public Service and the array of advisers. I suppose that we can be thankful that question time did not go on for much longer, otherwise the amount might have grown.
Mr De Domenico: Like your nose.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR BERRY: That is a dreadful imputation. You will recall that this was the meeting where all of the talent - this lot over here - sat around for a weekend, throwing up what Mrs Carnell described as ridiculous ideas, which were then meticulously edited into a final document. By the end of question time, the cost had risen to $5,000. Chief Minister, does this amount - listen to it - include the fee, travel expenses and per diems of the facilitator at the meeting, who I understand is a Sydney lawyer? What were the total fees and other expenses paid to the facilitator? Were there any travel allowances paid to any person attending the meeting? If so, to whom, and how much?