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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1230 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

representing one particular area of Canberra, in this case Brindabella, would automatically discriminate against Canberrans living in other electorates is something that should be offensive to all members in this place. At the very least, both Mr Osborne and Mr Kaine should be concerned about being impugned in this way. I am sure that they are. Statements such as this do nothing for the integrity of Assembly processes and for all of us as members.

Instead of apologising, Mr Speaker, this issue has been compounded by Mr Hargreaves's approach in this matter. Instead of apologising for having made these comments, he compounded the problem by making a somewhat astounding public statement. In a letter to me from the chair of the committee, Mr Osborne stated that Mr Hargreaves's version of events was that he, Mr Hargreaves, and I quote, "was informed of the likely choice of sites by the Valley View's reporter who advised he was given this information by a spokesman from Mr Humphries's office, Mr Keenan". Mr Speaker, I have here a statutory declaration from Mr Keenan.

Mr Berry: Ha, ha, ha! He is miffed, is he?

MR HUMPHRIES: I have more about this. I would not laugh if I were you, Mr Berry. In this statutory declaration Mr Keenan asserts that he did not disclose to a reporter from the Valley View or anybody else possible sites for the prison which were discussed by the Justice and Community Safety Committee, and in any case could not have done so because he was not aware of potential sites and had never seen any ministerial briefing provided to me on this subject. I table that statutory declaration for members' interest.

Mr Speaker, one might be forgiven for thinking that this is a case of Mr Hargreaves's word against Mr Keenan's. However, I also have with me a letter from Mr Joe Murtagh addressed to Mr Keenan in my office. Mr Murtagh is the senior journalist who wrote the story in which Mr Hargreaves made his original remarks. There is silence on the other side, suddenly. I quote:

... this is to confirm that you -

that is, Mr Keenan -

did not, at any time, provide me with a list of possible sites being considered by the ACT Government for the location of a prison in Canberra.

Mr Murtagh goes on to state:

I did not, as Mr Hargreaves claims, tell him that you -

that is, Mr Keenan -

provided me with a list of sites.

He further adds that, although he cannot be 100 per cent certain, he strongly suspects that it was Mr Hargreaves who named the possible sites for the prison.

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