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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1827 ..

MR MOORE: The bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed, he said. So it has been with the utterly false accusation that the Chief Minister has broken the law, a glib and false sentence crafted to create in the public mind - - -

Mr Berry: There is the parallel, Mr Speaker, if I may raise a point of order. He attempts to draw the parallel that the Opposition is behaving like Dr Goebbels in accusing the Chief Minister of breaking the law.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. That bow would be so long, Mr Berry, that I simply could not entertain it.

MR MOORE: The false accusation that the Chief Minister has broken the law is a glib and false sentence crafted to create in the public mind the image of personal wrongdoing. We saw the effect of this in yesterday's poll, which plainly showed the damage Mr Stanhope's smear campaign has done to the reputation of the most popular MLA in the history of this Assembly.

Let us dwell upon the base motivations for this motion. The Labor members are in opposition. They seek to seize government. They have no policy direction of their own. They have put up so little in this Assembly. Failing that, as Mr Stanhope said at its ALP conference, they hope to damage the Government. The loss of a leader and Minister of Mrs Carnell's undoubted quality would be damage indeed, but for all of Canberra, not just for the Government.

Simon Corbell says that the Chief Minister was hiding all this information. Clearly that too is a misrepresentation. Mr Speaker, I table for the benefit of members some of the documents in which the information was made public. They include Auditor-General's Report No. 9 of 1998. On page 51 it says:

This year 14.7m was spent in cash on the Bruce Stadium ... the shortfall was met by borrowing $9.7m from the Commonwealth Bank;

The annual report of the Chief Minister's Department for 1997-98, under "Bruce Stadium Redevelopment", sets out exactly how the operation proceeded. On page 200, the borrowings are set out in very clear and concise terms. Mr Corbell's comments were just another misrepresentation from those opposite.

It is undisputed by this Government that a mistake was made in the Office of Financial Management during early 1998. The Chief Minister and others have described in full detail what occurred. A course of action within the Government's legal powers was decided upon for perfectly good reasons, but paperwork was bungled in such a way as to take away the lawful basis of the relevant investment transactions.

All the players genuinely believed that their actions were well founded. So sure were they that no-one realised this error for over a year. Upon receiving legal advice six weeks ago, the Chief Minister has publicly taken responsibility, apologised to the Assembly and moved to remedy the situation. Far from acting reprehensibly, she has at every stage acted correctly and responsibly on the advice that she had. What more can

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