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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 3576 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

But it is all not based on fact. I will even go to recent times when the Chief Minister stood here and claimed to have managed well financially, and stood up in this place and said, "We took over a $344m deficit from Labor". There was a $344m deficit in this Chief Minister's first full year of stewardship and it included a very, very, very substantial proportion of abnormal items. It does not matter, it makes the case. It does not matter if it misleading. The Canberra Hospital implosion was a function of the stunt mentality.

The loyal public servants ensured that obstacles were brushed aside. One or two of them, as we know, are now paying the price for that loyalty. And they are paying the price when the account should be delivered to a higher soul.

It is instructive, I think, to ponder the legal expenses reported in the Chief Minister's annual report. The Chief Minister, not responsible? For a little over a day's evidence cut short because she had to go and do another stunt, her legal bill was $122,000 in a year. For the head of Chief Minister's Department, the man by her side, who gave very limited evidence, it was $56,000. The executive director of Development and Tourism gave considerable evidence, received adverse comment. Her legal bill, what we spent on her, was $23,000. So that is how we do things around here. The captain refuses to go down with the ship. And in today's Canberra Times, I think, the Chief Minister stated:

I can't think of a situation where a no-confidence motion has been successfully run on a minister because of administrative failures when there has been no impropriety.

But what we are talking about here is not an administrator failing - an administrator within her department failing - we are talking about the whole system, the system in which she was involved.

Today is a good day to give you an analogy. A long way east of here in the Land of the Long White Cloud, there is a gentleman called John Hart. John Hart is the former coach of the New Zealand All Blacks. He is the former coach because he resigned. During the World Cup he did not drop a pass, he did not miss a kick for goal or a kick for touch or miss a tackle or drop off his intensity. But he was in charge. He was responsible. He resigned because he, Mr Speaker, had honour. Thank you.

MR WOOD (12.08): Mr Speaker, there is no-one in this Assembly in any doubt about who runs things in this town. The Chief Minister has no doubts. We here all know who runs the place. The four Ministers across there know that. They learnt a long time ago. The ex-Liberal minister, Trevor Kaine, knows and he will correct me, I expect, if I am wrong, that Mrs Carnell's approach is: "Do it my way or not at all". There is no-one in the bureaucracy in this city in any doubt about the dominance of the Chief Minister. Anyone who did has long gone. In 41/2 years she has reshaped, restructured, remodelled the administration. New ways, her ways. New people, her people. She dismantled the Public Service and reshaped it her way, and at the top of the tree she runs it her way.

More than that, many in the wider community have experienced it. If you are in any way reliant on government funding you might well get a blast if you dare criticise the hand

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