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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 541 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Service built its depot in the path of the fire that they were fighting and which ultimately burnt them out.

I say that in the context of the crystal ball capacity that so many people now have, looking over the shoulder reflecting on why we did not foresee that this was going to happen, why we did this and not that, why we did not know that the fire was going to burn Duffy. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service did not know the fire was going to burn Duffy, or they would not have built their depot right in the path of the fire, 100 metres in front of Duffy. I leave that as a final reflection in relation of the danger of these implied criticisms and this retrospective wisdom that you all now pretend to have.

MR CORNWELL: I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, could you now explain how the McLeod review will address the questions I asked in relation to aircraft being on the ground and fire units coming from New South Wales, some of which you mentioned by name? How will the McLeod review address such matters which, I put to you, are of vital concern to the ACT but which originated in New South Wales? How will the McLeod review in the ACT address these questions, which are matters that originated in New South Wales?

Mrs Dunne: I think that behind closed doors is the answer.

MR STANHOPE: Behind closed doors! You are raising a number of issues. You are actually raising them in the nature of allegations. There is a big difference between pursuing information, seeking out the truth, to learn from the lessons of the past and going on unrestrained witch-hunts on the basis of allegations. Stand up now and table the name of your informant, table the basis of your information, and let me refer it. Do that. Put it on the table.

That was the issue I had with the AM show on the ABC-unnamed, faceless, serious allegations, seriously defaming members of the Emergency Services Bureau, suggesting major breaches of duty by identifiable officers of the ACT government on the basis of innuendo, untested assertion, an unwillingness to name sources, a determination not to put the information on the table, and then asking people to respond on the basis of that and for their reputations not to be seriously damaged.

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order. Mr Cornwell asked a question about the McLeod inquiry and the Chief Minister has gone back into his favourite topic about nameless, faceless, gutless people that we heard about two weeks ago. The question was about the McLeod inquiry and how issues of cross-border significance would be addressed.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure that the Chief Minister is coming to that.

MR STANHOPE: I am, and I will conclude. The full ambit of issues that have been raised or will be raised will be responded to. Most certainly, the range of allegations that Mr Smyth dropped in his speech this morning around all these-

Mr Smyth: They have all been on the radio.

MR STANHOPE: There was a pretence that that was not determined to undermine the integrity of processes or to undermine the Emergency Services Bureau in the ACT,

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