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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2047 ..


MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MRS CARNELL: Thank you. Mr Speaker, in order not to be accused of inadvertently misleading members of this Assembly, I would like to add information provided in answer to a question by Mr Whitecross last Wednesday regarding the cost of the executive conference held at Eagle Hawk in December 1995. I informed this Assembly last Wednesday that my understanding was that the cost of the conference had been $5,000 and that that had been paid out of the Executive budget. Of course, it was paid out of the Executive budget, Mr Speaker - a budget that has been well managed and looks like coming in on track, unlike the Executive budget of the previous Government. This executive conference was to canvass fresh ideas and approaches to address the many issues facing this Government and was a most productive investment.

On Thursday Mr Berry asked a further question on this topic related to the cost of a facilitator involved in the conference. Further checks with my department revealed that the sum of $4,300 was paid for the services of a facilitator over the - - -

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That is not a personal explanation; it is a statement from the Executive. It has nothing to do with a personal explanation. If Mrs Carnell wants to answer a question, or remedy an incorrect answer to a question or reorder a question, all she has to do is leap to her feet as the Chief Minister and seek leave. It is not a personal explanation.

MRS CARNELL: I sought leave, Mr Speaker. My understanding is that it is up to any Assembly member to make sure, at the first possible opportunity, that any information that could be misunderstood by this Assembly is made right.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, further checks with my department revealed that the sum of $4,300 was paid for the services of a facilitator over the three days of the conference. This was paid by the Chief Minister's Department, which looks like coming in well under budget this year, and was in addition to the $5,100 which the conference cost from the Executive budget. No travel allowances or daily allowances were paid to Public Service staff or Government members. Mr Speaker, I understand that these details were circulated to members of the Assembly on Thursday evening or Friday morning last week, but in order for full details to be on the record I thought it was appropriate to make those clear in Hansard this morning.

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