Page 696 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 March 2005

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for the whole property, nor would it be appropriate for any of the other rural leases in the ACT with these specific provisions. I trust these comments clarify the statements I made in the Assembly last December.

Mrs Burke: I was just wondering if the minister would be able to table that statement that he has just read from, Mr Speaker, if he would.

MR CORBELL: I am sorry. I do not have a copy to table.

MR SPEAKER: It is a matter for the minister.

Mrs Burke: Just what you were reading from, minister, would be good.

MR SPEAKER: That is a matter for the minister.

Sitting suspended from 12.02 to 2.30 pm.

Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs): For the information of members, my colleague Mr Quinlan, the Treasurer, is absent from the Assembly today. I will be happy to take any questions that might otherwise be directed to the Treasurer.

Questions without notice

Mr Rob Tonkin

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. It has become clear through a series of newspaper reports and investigations by the opposition that the Office of Special Adviser, Council of Australian Governments and Intergovernmental Relations was especially created to house and pay the salary of former chief executive of the Chief Minister’s Department, Mr Tonkin. Chief Minister, why did you park Mr Tonkin in this department of one and why did you go through this convoluted process to get rid of him rather than just using the termination clauses of his contract?

MR STANHOPE: As I think members are aware, Mr Tonkin has been on secondment to the Prime Minister’s department of the commonwealth government for some period—just over a year, I think. The arrangements that were made in relation to Mr Tonkin’s secondment are consistent with the Public Sector Management Act. They are consistent with the Financial Management Act. Having said that, I do note that the matter has been referred by the opposition to both the Public Service Commissioner and the Auditor-General for investigation and review. I think that it would perhaps be best for all concerned for the investigation, which I assume those officers will pursue—that there will be some fruits of the requests that have been made of each of them—to investigate all aspects of this. It seems to me perhaps in our better interests if we now allow at least the Auditor-General and the commissioner to respond to the requests for investigation rather than reviewing in this place every aspect of it.

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