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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1058 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

the Capital Airport Group as the point of reference for information you might want to follow up.

We have three sets of facts which would indicate that the Capital Airport Group is involved in the management of Brindabella Park and was involved in the negotiations, and yet the minister says there is no conflict of interest because that organisation was not involved. He is going to have to explain the contradiction. Yet, on the face of it, it was and is involved. As I said before, that leads to the apprehension of the possibility of some conflict of interest. You cannot have it both ways: if they were involved, there is justification for such a perception; if they were not involved there clearly, in my view, could not be.

The minister says they are not involved, but that is contradictory to all of the evidence that has been before us for weeks. In order to change my mind about whether or not he has exercised his role properly as a minister in the interests of this community, both in terms of the original decision to move there in the first place and whether he has exercised his responsibility over CTEC and ensured that there was no possibility of conflict of interest, he is going to have to demonstrate positively and conclusively that Capital Airport Group was not involved and is not involved in the management of Brindabella Park. As I say, to do that he has to directly contradict what he himself has said previously and he has to contradict information put out by Brindabella Business Park itself. So I will be interested to see how he explains the anomaly.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (4.57): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am going to speak to only a couple of points. Perhaps the information I have will assist Mr Kaine. Indeed, if Mr Smyth speaks again, he might elaborate further. I think that the Assembly should look at this motion in a more considered way than the members opposite have done so far. They and Ms Tucker have claimed that the decision by my colleague Mr Smyth not to release the documents due to the commercial-in-confidence status of them was one of a secretive minister in a secretive government. I think that there is a fundamental flaw in their arguments.

Whilst I was not here during one of the classic incidents in terms of not releasing documents, I am well aware of it. As someone who has had a bit of experience in this place, I can certainly remember the track record of Labor in government, and it was pretty ordinary. I am going back a few years, but that was the case then. One example does sum up the situation. Whilst I was not here, I am well aware of what happened then. I refer, of course to the VITAB matter.

Mr Berry certainly suffered as a result of that. The then Liberal opposition pursued him for months for a copy of the VITAB contract and the related documents. I think that started back in 1993 and was not finalised until part-way through 1994. Basically, he would not give them to the opposition or to the Assembly; they were classified commercial-in-confidence.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The gentlemen on my left will come to order. Mr Corbell, come to order, sir.

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