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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3534 ..

Mr Smyth: On the point of order, Mr Speaker: the Chief Minister now confirms that there is knowledge of what is in the report that is to be tabled tomorrow. How does he know that?

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.

Mr Smyth: It is a very serious point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Well, you might think so, but I don't. Chief Minister, will you come to the point of the question.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker, I will. Mr Stefaniak, I have to tell you that I had not seen the ad until I glanced at it just now when you brought it over to assure me that there was some integrity in your actions in seeking to table it and that it was actually what you said it was. So I have not actually looked at the advertisement until that quick glance, and I did not read it then.

I do recall some discussion in my office to the effect that there was a need to ensure that, in its placement and certainly in the payment of the advertisement, the appropriate arrangements were made. My understanding was-and I think this was checked by my office-that it was appropriate in relation to a vacancy in my office for that vacancy to be advertised and for-

Mr Humphries: As a public servant?

MR STANHOPE: Well, no, as I say, I recall a discussion in my office in which there was a mention or discussion of the fact that it was appropriate for a vacancy in my office to be advertised, it would be advertised in the Canberra Times and that it was appropriate that, effectively, the public purse be utilised for the lodgment and payment of that advertisement. My understanding is that the advertisement was lodged and paid for by the executive services unit, which is associated with and co-located with the Chief Minister's office.

I am happy to confirm that. I must say, I did not place the ad. I did not have detailed discussions in relation to it and I do not think anybody would expect that I would. I did not see the ad. I did not proof the ad. I did not agree to the content of the ad. As I say, I still have not read it; I still don't know what is in it. But if Mr Stefaniak has picked up a typo, or if he has a concern in relation to that, of course, I am more than happy to give a full response.

But my understanding or recollection is that the advertisement is placed by the executive support officers, co-located with the Chief Minister's office, and it was paid for from executive funds. I understand that that is the appropriate procedure.

MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, is it not incompetent to not proofread an ad for what is the most important job in your office? Given your answer to the question, will you assure the house that you are not in any way attempting to politicise the public service and depoliticise LAMS staff?

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