Page 4129 - Week 13 - Thursday, 14 December 2006

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Thursday, 14 December 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Personal explanation

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): I would like to make a statement pursuant to standing order 46, as I have been misrepresented in this place.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR MULCAHY: Yesterday afternoon a statement was issued from my office commenting on the resignation of Dr Grimes from his position at ACT Treasury. I seek leave to table that statement.

Leave granted.

MR MULCAHY: I table the following paper:

“Mulcahy questions Grimes departure from ACT Treasury”—Media release by Mr Mulcahy, dated Wednesday, 13 December 2006.

At no point in that statement did I imply, suggest or intend to suggest that Dr Grimes has departed because of some deficiency on his part; I had instead alluded to a possibility that working with the ACT government might well have given one cause to look for employment elsewhere, noting the number of competent key stakeholders who have departed from that role. Indeed, by way of a private view I expressed yesterday to a commonwealth official who asked about the appointment of Dr Grimes to the position of General Manager, Budget Group, in the Department of Finance and Administration, I expressed the view that Dr Grimes “always plays with a straight bat and is very polite and courteous whenever he appears before my committee”.

In Mr Stanhope’s remarks he also seriously misrepresented the circumstance—

MR SPEAKER: Order! You should stick to the personal.

MR MULCAHY: This is a misrepresentation, a second one, Mr Speaker. He also seriously misrepresented the circumstance of my departure from the AHA and claimed, “We believe the answer to Mr Mulcahy’s departure might have something to do with the secret report that Mr Mulcahy has sought to cover up.” This statement is false—it is without any factual foundation whatsoever—and is made without any relevance to the truth of the situation. I would certainly invite the Chief Minister to make defamatory statements outside the safety of the Assembly, and I hope, Mr Speaker, that in future—

MR SPEAKER: Order! I will not allow standing order 46 statements to involve the contest of ideas between you and another member. Stick to the personal; otherwise I will ask you to sit down.

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