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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2133 ..

Payroll Tax

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. From your comments this morning, it is apparent that you were aware that an officer of your department contacted a number of business organisations advising them that yesterday Mr Quinlan said that the Labor Party could not support the Payroll Tax (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) because his contacts in the IT industry believed it would not fix the problem. Are you aware that this message was going to be distributed, and did you sanction the promulgation of this untruth?

MS CARNELL: What a stupid question.

Mr Quinlan: It is a good question.

MS CARNELL: No, it is a truly stupid one. I asked a member of the Public Service to get in touch with the group that had done the consultation with the Government, which had agreed that the Bill that was on the table was the appropriate way to go, to get in touch with Mr Quinlan and to tell him that so that he would pass that Bill today. Yesterday, when I asked him whether he was willing to pass it today he said, "I do not know. I am not sure. It will depend". I did not know what it depended on, so I thought it was a really good idea for members of the industry to tell Mr Quinlan that they were happy with it.

MR QUINLAN: I ask a supplementary question. Do you approve of departmental officers contacting businesses urging them to put pressure on members of this place?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think it was very important for this piece of legislation to have gone through this morning, and it has gone through. Mr Quinlan, you did say in the house yesterday that you had been contacted by people from the IT industry and you were not confident that the Bill was the appropriate way to go. That is certainly my memory. If that is not what you said, please let us know. Mr Speaker, I think it was very appropriate under those circumstances.

Mr Corbell: Do you endorse this behaviour?

MS CARNELL: Do I endorse the behaviour of my Public Service? Yes.

Primary Schools - Work for the Dole Scheme

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Stefaniak. In response to recommendation 1 in the Education Committee report on the work for the dole project in primary schools, yesterday you stated that the Department of Education and Community Services had complied fully with the Government's consultation protocol. I am happy to remind the Minister of what is in the protocol if he would like, but I am hoping that he has some understanding of what it requires. Evidence which came to the committee was absolutely clear on the fact that this process did not occur. Consultation with the Youth Coalition involved an information phone call on the day the application was signed off.

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