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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 758 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

Chief Minister, that was over three months ago and I have not seen the report that you promised me. Has this very senior public servant who went swanning around France at taxpayers' expense nearly a year ago yet gotten around to writing up this report, and, if so, may I please have the copy that you promised me?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I take exception to comments about public servants swanning around anywhere. All of our public servants work very hard when they are away, I know, and do the job they are sent to do. I am confident that in this case, as in all other cases where public servants go overseas or, for that matter, interstate, they do their job professionally and well. Mr Speaker, I am advised that at this stage the particular report is in the pipeline. I have not seen it yet either. As I said, it was not a report that was required urgently and we have had one or two other things, such as budgets, to do in the meantime. When that report is made available to me it will certainly be given to Mr Kaine.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question?

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I am not disputing for a moment that when public servants do whatever they set about to do they do it efficiently, but it would appear in this case that the officer has not been as efficient since he got back because I made the point in my question that it was a year ago. When one talks about professionalism and efficiency one has to ask the question. My supplementary question, Mr Speaker, is this: Will this can-do Chief Minister require this senior officer to provide a copy of this report, perhaps even, say, by the end of this week? It is over a year, after all.

MS CARNELL: It is not over a year. Mr Speaker, it is not over a year to start with. As far as I know, it is certainly not over a year. It was over the Christmas break - - -

Mr Kaine: You said in December that as far as you know officers did not make reports, so - - -

MS CARNELL: Mr Kaine just said it was in December. That was a couple of months ago, not over a year ago, unless Mr Kaine got it totally wrong. A report will be made available when it becomes available to me. This report is not something that we see as being an urgent issue at this stage, but, when it is made available, it will be made available. Mr Kaine did just say, "over a year ago". The trip was late last year. The last time I checked it was only March now. That was a couple of months ago, over the Christmas break, Mr Speaker, when we have had many other issues on our agenda.

Mr Kaine: What a cop-out.

MS CARNELL: Mr Kaine, because he just got it wrong in his question, is getting embarrassed, but that is by the by, Mr Speaker. He will get a copy when it is available. When it is made available to me it will be passed on.

I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.

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