Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 February 2005) . . Page.. 477 ..
and in fact Mr Stanhope gave his authority for release of that report in August. But it is an example of the case that what has been claimed in recent times in the media, particularly about Mr Stanhope, has been based on untruth.
Mr Stefaniak was out talking about costs and that all the moneys had been substantially burnt. He got it wrong, but he happily went out there and peddled this. What we have here, as I think Dr Foskey has quite clearly and well explained, is about politics and about trying to pass a message to the public; it is not necessarily about proving anything in this place. I think Mr Stefaniak said in his speech that it was not an earth shattering or a fatal problem.
But returning to what Mr Seselja said—and I think it is most apposite—about Mr Stanhope having several conflicts of interest: one as the Attorney-General and one as the Chief-Minister and head of government. If that is the case—everybody on this side of the house is part of the government—what you are saying is that we should have, effectively, a vacant role of Attorney-General because we all have a conflict of interest.
Mr Seselja: No, you’re not the attorney; you do not have that special role.
MR QUINLAN: No, it is beyond that. These are multiple conflicts of interest. We are all part of the government. If the Attorney-General stood down and someone else took over, I am the Treasurer and I would be concerned that there may be financial impacts upon the territory.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR QUINLAN: Let me say in response to the interjections that the substance of Mr Stanhope’s evidence, as reported in the newspaper, and that is all that I followed of his evidence, was purely about a few facts; it had nothing to do with putting the guy in the dock. There were no really challenging questions at the coronial inquest, nothing like, “Mr Stanhope, you are now in danger of adverse findings because of your appearance.”
MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister, you should not be referring to the coronial inquest and I ask you to desist.
MR QUINLAN: I apologise completely, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Seselja for his comments, but I have to say that the proposition being put forward by the opposition is a nonsense.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (12.21): It is interesting, Mr Speaker, that we are repeating essentially the debate that was held in our first sitting week in this Assembly in December. On that occasion, it was a no-confidence motion in me as Attorney-General, essentially a request or suggestion by the opposition that I resign. In December, my sins were so great that the position of the Liberal Party was that I should resign as Attorney-General. Now here we are in the second sitting week of the Assembly, and the story is: “Well, we’ll give up on the suggestion that the sin is so great that he should resign. We have walked away from that. We now suggest that he should stand aside.” Of course, Mr Speaker, next month, when