Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 21 August 2008) . . Page.. 3438 ..
MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Ms MacDonald, the question is that the report be noted.
MS MacDONALD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Maybe if Mrs Dunne is so amused she should go and have a good laugh outside. It is such an amusing report about the mismanagement by the former CEO and the former management—
Mr Seselja: Your speech is amusing.
MR SPEAKER: I have called you to order, Mr Seselja.
MS MacDONALD: and the fact that the board took their eyes off the ball that we should all laugh at it. It is not a laughable matter. Mr Smyth has made much of the fact that there is no dissenting report—I do not shy away from that—but Mr Smyth would highlight certain sections of the report and not take into account all the others. This is a balanced report—I do not shy away from that—and it is incorrect to infer that the shareholders were responsible for the behaviour of management and the lack of due diligence by the board. I know that Mr Smyth would like to make much of those particular areas because that suits his cause with it being an election year, but the report does need to be read as a whole. With respect to people who go into management positions, even in a territory-owned corporation now, there is the comment at the beginning of chapter 4, that a halfway house is a dangerous place to be.
There is that difficulty with territory-owned corporations, especially for Rhodium, in trying to work out what it was supposed to be and quite probably there was a difference of opinion between the shareholders at the time about the direction. I go back to what I said before: I have an expectation, as a ratepayer in this town and a legislator, that the people that are employed in our agencies will behave in a correct and proper fashion. We all have that expectation. Those are the people that have failed, not the shareholders.
Mr Seselja: Well, that’s not what you said in the report.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MS MacDONALD: It is not the shareholders that have failed. Mr Smyth has failed to focus on all 14 recommendations. He has focused on a few paragraphs and has suggested, first of all, that what they had done was illegal. That was specifically ruled out and we did not put that in the report. I believe that this report makes some significant recommendations. I commend the report as a whole, not parts of it.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (12.08): As members would appreciate, I have not yet read the report. I look forward to doing so and I certainly look forward to taking legal advice on some aspects of it. It is interesting, particularly in relation to the hysterical approach adopted just now by the Deputy