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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1794 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

there any evidence at all, Mr Speaker? Has there been any evidence offered to support the view that we did not believe that we were acting within the law? None whatsoever, Mr Speaker. No public money has been misused. Every single dollar has been accounted for, and every single one of those dollars has been disclosed.

I have not misled the Assembly. I have not lied about the project. I have not covered up any aspect of the financing. Ultimately, it was a technical error which contributed to the legal opinion that the Government had acted unlawfully. Neither I nor any other member of Cabinet knew about that oversight at the time, including Mr Kaine. Yes, mistakes were made, Mr Speaker, and I am sorry that that happened; but there was not a deliberate attempt to contravene the laws of this Territory. There are plenty of precedents which show that similar problems have occurred in the past and that, rather than hang governments for them, the Assembly in the past has worked to rectify the problem to ensure that it does not happen again.

Mr Speaker, in considering Mr Stanhope's motion, you have to ask yourself the following questions: Was there any evidence given by Mr Stanhope of impropriety? Was there any evidence given by Mr Stanhope of a lack of disclosure about this redevelopment? Absolutely not, Mr Speaker. Were the Government's accounts qualified because of these transactions? Absolutely not, Mr Speaker. Was there any evidence of fraud, misuse of money or anybody personally benefiting from this transaction? There was not even an allegation, Mr Speaker. Is there any information that anybody on this side of the house, I particularly, had any intent whatsoever to break a law of this Territory? Absolutely not, Mr Speaker. Until last week, did any Assembly committee question the validity of any of the transactions? They have been in front of a number of Assembly committees, with full disclosure, and nobody has questioned the transactions. The answer to all of these questions, beyond any shadow of doubt, is no.

Mr Speaker, there was no intent to break the law and there was no damage and, therefore, no money wasted; in fact, quite the opposite. We now have one of the best stadiums in Australia. We have a stadium that is value for money, and nobody is doubting that, Mr Speaker. We are an Olympic city and we have a guarantee that the Raiders and the Brumbies will be with us for the next eight to 10 years. Mr Speaker, where is the damage? There was no intent to break any law and no damage as a result of the guideline not being issued. Mr Speaker, does that indicate a case for sacking a government? Absolutely not.

MR QUINLAN (12.15): Mr Speaker, I shall try to be briefer than the previous two speakers. I believe that the case against Mrs Carnell has already been made. It has been made today by Mr Stanhope and it has been made in the weeks and months before today. The law was broken. Three eminent lawyers have stated quite clearly that the law was broken. They included the Queen's Counsel engaged by the Government itself. I think Mrs Carnell's explanation is: "It got broke". I believe that Mrs Carnell was knowingly involved in the perpetration of illegal acts in relation to the financing of the Bruce Stadium redevelopment. Looking back on the chain of events and the stratagems that the Government has put in place, the only logical explanation is that there has existed a very crude attempt to legitimise illegal actions well after the event. There is no other plausible conclusion than that Mrs Carnell was knowingly involved in the measures taken to cover up the illegalities.

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