Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1221 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Assembly and the Estimates Committee have taken. Those opposite have whinged about the legal costs of $12,000 to put the PA together and the deed of termination, and the work that was done in between. Mr Speaker, I have to tell you that $12,000 is a drop in the ocean in comparison to what those opposite have cost the taxpayer as a result of a lot of useless questions that have proven nothing.
MR QUINLAN (11.56): I am a bit long in the tooth to have been elected into this Assembly and naively expect that everything I heard would be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, I did not expect to be deliberately and persistently misled on an important matter. I am in no doubt that, along with other members, I have been served misleading information in this place. I did not honestly expect to be so blatantly misled as I have been - as you have been - on the Kinlyside development at Hall. The rest of my remarks in this debate I direct to the crossbenchers as they will be the ones that decide as to whether we censure the Chief Minister and her deputy.
Mr Stanhope laid out considerable evidence of misinformation given time and again. If this was based on the Chief Minister's or the Deputy Chief Minister's lack of knowledge when, out of the Chief Minister's own mouth, they have admitted to having been reckless not only in what they said in this place but also in terms of the stridency and the deliberateness with which they delivered it, I have to say that I am underwhelmed by the Chief Minister's dissertation regarding due process, all of which seems to have occurred commencing around May this year when the jig was up. And I am underwhelmed to hear her taking credit for a lot of public consultation which was not initiated by the Government.
Mr Speaker, I genuinely doubt that there is anybody in this chamber who does not believe that misleading information was laid before this Assembly on several occasions in relation to the Kinlyside fiasco. Mr Stanhope's analysis demonstrates that this must have been quite deliberate or, at absolute minimum, reckless. The core misinformation here, the core deception, is not how many pieces of paper someone had, or controlled, or handled, or saw. The core of misleading this Assembly is in the explanation for the genesis of the Kinlyside project and the later reasons for its cancellation. The Ministers involved circumvented due process to the advantage of a single individual, an individual who was to bring very little of a capital nature to the project and would, in all probability, have made a considerable amount of money from it.
Let me be clear in restating that we do not in any way blame the developer for accepting an opportunity offered him. Business and enterprise are about seizing one's chances when they arise. We are, however, aware that a number of other developers were somewhat disgruntled, to say the least, at not being permitted to compete for this project. The exclusivity of this deal and the claimed developer's ultimate withdrawal were explained by the existence of three leases and the changing knowledge as to control over those leases. There were never three leases, even though we heard repeated claims to their existence. In fact, there was only one lease and it was revokable at a month's notice. That puts the lie to the original reasons for exclusive dealing with the developer and that puts the lie given for the reasons for the project's cancellation.