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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2800 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

On 24 August in question time you further stated in relation to the same issue:

I have looked at the legal advice, Mr Stanhope, if you wish to see it.

Will the Minister tell the Assembly when he sought the legal advice in relation to the Tokich Homes direct grant at McKellar and, given his offer to Mr Stanhope, will he table it?

MR HUMPHRIES: I did not seek legal advice. Legal advice apparently was obtained but not by me. I was asked whether I will table it. No, I cannot table it, because it is not written advice; it is oral advice. It was transmitted to me. If in the course of the MPI debate or question time I referred to having seen the advice, then I regret it. That was inaccurate. I certainly saw information supplied to me which summarised the advice. The advice was contained within the brief I received. I am very happy to admit that to Ms Tucker. I have not tried to conceal that matter. As far as I am concerned, that information was conveyed to the house accurately, but the advice was not in written form.

MR CORBELL: It is typical to look at legal advice which does not exist on paper! My supplementary question is: Did the Department of Treasury and Infrastructure or its predecessor seek legal advice prior to the issuing of the direct grant to Tokich Homes of land at McKellar, and when was this advice obtained?

MR HUMPHRIES: I cannot answer that question without looking at the matters that Mr Corbell has raised. I am sure Mr Corbell observed me a few moments ago saying I would have an investigation of the matter raised by Ms Tucker.

Mr Corbell: Does that mean we cannot ask questions?

MR HUMPHRIES: No, it does not mean you cannot ask questions. It is the last day of this sitting period. I am not in a position to be able to provide this information to you. Ms Tucker was good enough to put the issue she wanted to raise on the table so I had a chance to look at the matters she raised. You have that same privilege if you wish to do that, Mr Corbell.

Mr Corbell: This is straightforward.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is not straightforward.

Mr Corbell: When? It is easy to find out when. Make a phone call.

MR HUMPHRIES: With great respect, Mr Speaker, if I could be heard - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! Just a moment, please. Mr Humphries is answering a question.

Mr Corbell: If the Minister wants to engage in conversation across the chamber, I cannot help but respond, Mr Speaker.

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