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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2964 ..

Bruce Stadium

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister. It relates to the failed marketing campaign for Bruce Stadium. I would just like to recapitulate a few events of the last few months. First of all, Chief Minister, you stated quite unequivocally in this Assembly on 18 February of this year:

The stadium's sales team operates on a commission basis - that is, no sale, no commission. It is quite simple ... no sale, no commission.

Subsequently, on 11 March, 25 March and 21 April, I tried to elicit from you, without success as it turned out, the truth about the nature of these payments, by that stage totalling some $774,000, to Nationwide Venue Management, the former marketing contractors. Finally, on 20 May, in response to a question on notice from me, you claimed that NVM did not wish to disclose the information I sought but that the Auditor-General, as part of his major inquiry into the Bruce Stadium fiasco, would have this information disclosed to him. It is a bit odd. It will not be revealed to the Assembly but it will be revealed to the Auditor-General. That was your response. However, since then, as a result of a freedom of information discovery, I think by the Leader of the Opposition, we have now learnt that the contractors were paid at least $900,000 but raised less than $200,000. Chief Minister, during all of that period when I was trying to elicit information from you, is it not a fact that you deliberately and consistently misled this Assembly about payments to the marketing contractors by deliberately withholding information which should have been in the public domain and for which there existed no justification for the secrecy with which you cloaked it?

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Mr Kaine has been around here long enough to know that if he wants to raise that issue, even in the form of a question, he needs to put it as a substantive motion.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, it is straightforward question. It follows from a number of questions that I have asked repeatedly over a period of months.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I believe you have ruled in the past that a question of that nature amounts to an allegation, and it should be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: I am afraid it does amount to an allegation. There is an allegation that the Chief Minister has deliberately misled the Assembly. If you want to rephrase it, Mr Kaine - - -

MR KAINE: To speak to that point of order: I am not making an allegation. I am asking the Chief Minister a question. Did she not? That is not an allegation. I am asking for her to reply to a question.

Mr Humphries: I understand you have ruled on this question before, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I have.

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