Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 27 August 2009) . . Page.. 3826 ..
MR STANHOPE: I am particularly pleased that Mr Smyth has asked this question today. If I had given contemplation actually to moving a censure motion against Mr Smyth today for the way in which he grievously misled the Assembly in relation to this issue yesterday in which he actually claimed—
Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister has just asserted that Mr Smyth misled the Assembly. I ask you to direct him to withdraw.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister.
MR STANHOPE: We look forward to the Greens’ amendment to the censure motion. We look forward to expressing the will of the Assembly in relation to that. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister, are you intending to withdraw the comment?
MR STANHOPE: I beg your pardon, I withdraw. But I am glad for the question, because it allows me to actually go to the question of the nature of statements made by Mr Smyth yesterday in this Assembly, which were not correct. Mr Smyth in this Assembly yesterday claimed that in my answer to the estimates committee I had misled the estimates committee. He did that on the basis of a first answer to a question he asked. He then asked the question again, and I conceded that I did not believe that the assertion he was making was, in fact, the case. I qualified my answer. He then asked again, and I qualified my answer again and suggested, having qualified it, Mr Smyth, that I believed that is what the report and the terms of reference were meant to reflect. In that instance, I was incorrect. Because I had a doubt, because I conceded there was a doubt, I conceded that it was only my belief. I then said, Mr Smyth—as you have just acknowledged the day after I challenged you with having misled the Assembly and you felt the need to actually qualify the statements you made yesterday in which you now accept that I said:
I have taken the question on notice.
Having taken the question on notice, you still came in here yesterday—and I have your words—and said this, “You denied this” and, “You misled the estimates committee.” That is what you said yesterday—
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister has just said “misled” again. I ask you to make him withdraw it. The question is: how do you explain the terms of reference for the review by Ernst & Young requesting identification of possible cost savings. He should come to the question.
MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I will conclude on this point, as it is becoming tediously political and there is no advantage in continuing. The strategic review, the Ernst & Young review, was commissioned by the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Territory and Municipal Services, in the main to provide advice to the Department of Territory and Municipal Services on issues of strategic direction and financial management. That was the purpose, the essential purpose, the fundamental purpose, of the strategic review. In the context of that, I do concede, Mr Smyth, that I