Page 3946 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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MS GALLAGHER: The content of the question was an insinuation that there had been some sort of irregular interference in the appointment of a very senior position to the ACT public service and to a statutory office within that.

I was certainly involved in the federal campaign of Ms Phillips. Previously she had supported me in my campaign here. That is what the organisation, Emily’s List, does. That is what women in the Labor Party do. We actually work together and support each other for public office, unlike what we are seeing over there at the moment.

The two women members would do well to have a little look at what Emily’s List is all about and engage in some of that cooperation. There is certainly no secret about the mentoring arrangements that occur under Emily’s List. For the opposition to insinuate and imply that there is some incorrect or irregular relationship is simply wrong. Dig as far as you like.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Did you declare this friendship as a potential conflict of interest when the appointment went through cabinet?

MS GALLAGHER: From memory, I was on leave when the appointment went through cabinet.

Planning and Land Authority

MR SESELJA: My question is to the planning minister. I refer to the ACT Planning and Land Authority’s annual report for 2004-05 and to the financial statements on page 9 that show that the expenditure on travel grew in the 2004-05 financial year from the 2003-04 financial year by approximately 58.46 per cent. Minister, why has the authority’s travel budget been allowed to grow by 58 per cent at a time when the government is seeking to cut costs and at a time when the authority has been forced to shed between nine and 11 jobs?

MR CORBELL: This annual report deals with the previous financial year, so it is a somewhat different circumstance; it is not in that context. Mr Seselja has it around the wrong way. Mr Seselja is insinuating that expenditure has gone up at the same time as the government has requested savings measures. In fact, that expenditure occurred at a time prior to the government making decisions about savings measures. But we will just leave that difficult—

Mr Seselja: Could that have had anything to do with the cutback?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, you have asked a question. Allow the minister to answer the question without interjection.

MR CORBELL: Maybe Mr Seselja should have thought of that before he asked the question. I am very happy to take on notice the details of the question and provide an answer to Mr Seselja.

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