Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 130 ..
retained the report for nine months? Why has it not been released? Just what are you hiding?
MR SMYTH: Mr Corbell catches himself out, Mr Speaker. His first question was why haven't I done a review, and then he stands up in the Assembly and says in his supplementary question that I put out a discussion paper. He cannot have it both ways.
Mr Corbell: No, you didn't listen to the question. I said no review has been completed.
Mr Wood: You have been Gary-ed.
Mr Corbell: I have been Gary-ed again.
MR SPEAKER: If you keep that up you will not be hearing the answer either.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I said there would be a review after 12 months. Mr Corbell now confirms that that review has been undertaken. I now have the final report and I am considering it.
Canberra Hospital implosion-inquiry
MR KAINE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, Chief Minister, in answer to my question about the Smethurst inquiry, you said that "the inquiry is technically dormant rather than non-existent". In the Canberra Times this morning I read that a spokesperson for you was reported to have informed the Canberra Times that the inquiry in fact was terminated in 1999. Which is correct? Is the matter technically dormant or has it been terminated? If it has been terminated, when was it terminated, by what means was it terminated, and why has the government kept this fact so close to its chest?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my recollection of what I said yesterday is that I did not know whether the inquiry was technically dormant or whether it was terminated. I have not seen the Hansard for yesterday so I do not know exactly what I said, but that was what I was trying to impart.
Mr Kaine: I am telling you what you said.
MR HUMPHRIES: I did not know, and I still do not know, until I heard Mr Kaine's question, whether the inquiry had been formally terminated or not. I had no advice about that. You told me just now that in fact it has been formally terminated. It was obviously done by my predecessor. I assume it was done by my predecessor. I will find out for Mr Kaine's benefit when it occurred and why. As to keeping it secret, I would not have thought it was such a surprise to learn that, with a comprehensive inquest under way, the other exercise of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act should be abandoned. The reason, Mr Speaker, has been well and truly on the record in this place in terms of the concerns this government has raised about the potential conflict between an inquiry under the Inquiries Act and a coronial process under the legislation governing the coroner's inquiry.