Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1472 ..
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, yesterday in the house Mr Kaine spoke about some comments made, I think, by Mr Humphries and me with regard to Cabinet documents. Mr Kaine said this:
... the Deputy Chief Minister and Attorney-General may not be aware that a comprehensive check was made by officers of the Chief Minister's Department some months ago when there was a witch-hunt on for some allegedly missing Cabinet documents. They did a very careful check of my office and they found irrefutable records to the effect that all such documents had been accounted for and had been returned to the Chief Minister's Department.
Mr Speaker, I am advised that when Mr Kaine was asked by officers of the Chief Minister's Department as to whether he had any Cabinet submissions in his possession, he replied, "No". When Mr Kaine was asked whether he would give permission for a search to be undertaken of his office, he refused. Mr Speaker, I am advised that currently there are at least 13 Cabinet documents outstanding from Mr Kaine's list of documents, and about 46 documents outstanding from Mr Woolley's Cabinet submissions. So, Mr Speaker, the comment made yesterday by Mr Kaine that my department had searched his office is wrong. The comment that all documents have been accounted for is also wrong.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement on that matter.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I find it quite astonishing that the Chief Minister would come into this place and even attempt to suggest that I have Cabinet documents in my possession that I should not have. Mr Speaker, that simply is not the case. In connection with the records which I presume the Chief Minister is basing that comment on, she might care to comment on the fact that after I had been in the office of the Minister on the second floor for nearly a year I found a cabinet drawer full of Cabinet documents which had been there since Mr De Domenico was the Minister and which had not been returned. I insisted that they be packed up, inventoried, and returned to the Chief Minister's Department. The indications are, Mr Speaker, that the records of the Chief Minister's Department are totally hopeless and that they are no basis on which to allege that documents are accounted for or not accounted for. If the Chief Minister is going to throw stones she had better make sure she is not living in a glass house.
Mr Speaker, I reaffirm that when an officer of the Chief Minister's Department asked me, after an extensive search, whether I had any documents remaining in my possession, I did say no because I was absolutely confident that I did not. I took it as a total affront when that same officer then asked me, "Do you mind if I search your office?". After having said that I had no such documents in my possession, after having said that I personally had verified that there were no such documents in my possession or in my office, I was then asked by an officer of the Chief Minister's Department, "Do you mind if I check the veracity of your statement by doing a search of your office?". I happen to be a member of this Assembly, Mr Speaker, and for that even to be suggested is totally out of order, and of course I said no.