Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 3613 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
Despite all of the evidence about the Chief Minister being responsible and not me, the Chief Minister and her deputy have continued to assert that I was the responsible Minister. The bottom line is that Mrs Carnell had ample opportunity to present her case to the coroner, and on that point her view was totally rejected by the coroner. I had no such similar opportunity.
In the final analysis, the coroner unequivocally rejected the proposition that I was the responsible Minister. While the coroner is clinically dismissive of these allegations, the counsel assisting the coroner in his final submissions at the inquest is utterly scathing. He goes further in saying:
Given this lack of involvement from Mr Kaine in any aspect of the project, together with the extensive control exercised by members of the client group, the assertions by Mrs Carnell, Mr Wearing and Mr Walker, contrary to the objective evidence that the project in fact was the responsibility of Mr Kaine, are consistent with attempts by those persons to distance the Chief Minister, her office and her department from the actions taken by them in directing the project, particularly the public event aspects.
The distancing of themselves from this project was commented upon adversely by the counsel assisting the coroner. I beg members' forbearance to repeat these words:
... the assertions by Mrs Carnell, Mr Wearing and Mr Walker, contrary to the objective evidence that the project in fact was the responsibility of Mr Kaine, are consistent with attempts by those persons to distance the Chief Minister, her office and her department from the actions taken by them in directing the project, particularly the public events aspect.
They have the nerve to come out publicly and say, "It wasn't me, it was Trevor Kaine". It is now on the record that that is not the case.
As to these continuing assertions by Mrs Carnell and Mr Humphries that I was responsible, more specifically for WorkCover, the comment by the counsel assisting the coroner that I was in no way responsible in any aspect gives the lie to that. The coroner did not qualify his conclusion in any way. (Further extension of time granted) He did not say, "Trevor Kaine was not responsible, except for WorkCover". He did not say that. He said that I was not responsible in any respect.
WorkCover, like Totalcare, took its direction in this project not from me but from the Chief Minister's Department. If you read the report and you read the bit about a senior officer in the Chief Minister's Department directing the officer in charge of WorkCover to remove inspectors from the site, can you doubt where the directions were coming from? That direction did not come from me. I did not even know such a direction had been issued. Yet the Chief Minister and her deputy assert that I was running the project so far as WorkCover was concerned. That is an outright lie.