Page 387 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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I think I also—you did not get to this in your question—at the time indicated that I had some figures in relation to the cost of the defamation action pursued against Mr Smyth. I have those figures as well, as well as the cost to the ACT taxpayer of a second defamation action—of which I was not aware—against Mr Smyth by Harold Upton. I also have the legal costs paid on behalf of a member of the Liberal Party during the last Assembly, namely Mr Pratt, when a member of his staff brought a wrongful dismissal action against him.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Mr Mulcahy’s question was about costs in relation to Coroner Doogan. If Mr Stanhope wants to inform the Assembly about a whole range of other legal costs, I am sure that we can give him leave to make a statement at another time.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister was responding to a specific question and was providing additional information. I do not think I can prevent him from doing that.

MR STANHOPE: I will provide Mr Mulcahy—I regret the delay—with the information. I will confirm that I have it with me. Certainly, I believe I will be in a position today to table it.

Because of the interest of the opposition—and, indeed, the Assembly and the community—in legal costs generally, I also have available to members of the Assembly the full legal costs of two defamation actions pursued against Mr Smyth. The taxpayer paid all the costs for that—I think $80,000 or $90,000 all up, or thereabouts. I also have the full legal costs to the taxpayer for resolving a wrongful dismissal action pursued by a member of Mr Pratt’s staff against him.

I also have all the legal costs incurred by the taxpayer in the legal action pursued by a member of Mrs Cross’s staff against her for wrongful dismissal. Of course, I have all the costs of the unfortunate incident involving Mrs Burke, when a member of her staff made sundry allegations, which I think ended up—

Mr Mulcahy: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I asked when I would receive a reply. I acknowledge that the attorney, in his response, said that he wanted to furnish information about a matter involving the Leader of the Opposition. We now seem to be getting down to the history of every piece of litigation involving current and former members of the Assembly. I ask that the attorney be asked to confine himself to my question.

MR SPEAKER: There is a long list of legal costs.

MR STANHOPE: I have advised that later I will table the range of information I have available for members.

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister said that he would provide the information in relation to the specific matter that Mr Mulcahy raised. There are many issues around which there are legal costs; we do not really need a complete list of them.

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