Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 November 2007) . . Page.. 3358 ..
MR STANHOPE: On the point of order, it is relevant—it is about the philosophical approach of governments reflected in their commitment to policy and policy investment.
Mrs Burke: Sit down. Time’s up.
MR STANHOPE: The claim by Mrs Burke today in which she quotes Mr Mulcahy that Ms Gallagher is not committed to her job because she was on maternity leave is absolutely outrageous.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, resume your seat. Order!
Mrs Dunne: Before I ask my question, Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The minister’s time had expired and he would not take your ruling to sit down. I think it is really about time that members of the government were warned with the same eagerness and enthusiasm as members of the opposition are warned.
MR SPEAKER: I do not take too kindly to those sorts of reflections on the chair, Mrs Dunne, so I order you to withdraw that.
Mrs Dunne: I withdraw. If you consider it a reflection on the chair, I withdraw.
MRS DUNNE: I have a question for the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, yesterday during question time you told the Assembly that the issue of a female student attending a Canberra high school who is addicted to smoking was first raised with your office during the last weekend of October. Indeed, you said “right from when 2CC first approached my office in that last weekend in October”. Yet, minister, according to an article in the Canberra Times of 6 November 2007, you said that you were first alerted to the issue “late last week”—and late last week by that calculation would have been 1 or 2 November. Minister, when did you actually become aware of this issue and when did your office first become aware of the issue?
MR BARR: Mrs Dunne’s fascination with this subject seems to show no end. My media adviser received a call from 2CC on the morning of Saturday, 27 October and then contacted me. We then sought advice on that day, as best we could from the department of education and the school, in relation to the allegations. The initial advice at that time was that there was no truth to those particular allegations. We subsequently confirmed that advice that came through on the weekend early in the next week—from recollection it was the Monday—and we then received a number of inquiries because 2CC continued to run with the issue in spite of the fact that we had indicated that there was no truth to it.
What I told the Canberra Times was an accurate statement. On the question of when the Canberra Times report what I say and when they actually ask the question—there