Page 1187 - Week 03 - Thursday, 31 March 2011

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MR COE: Minister, are you aware of a text message sent to a member of your staff which says, “There is mounting, documented evidence of Departmental cover up. If I can get access to such documents, I expect you could too”? If not, Ms Burch, what action will you now take to follow up on that text message?

MS BURCH: We get a number of messages through my office across a range of things. If those opposite want me to know, letter by letter, every text message that comes to any of my officers—

Mr Seselja: About a departmental cover-up.

MS BURCH: There is no departmental cover-up.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Let us hear the minister.

MS BURCH: There is no departmental cover-up, Mr Speaker.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what action have you taken to investigate the existence or otherwise of such documented evidence and, given the ease with which these could be found, will you report back to the Assembly by close of business today?

MS BURCH: I am not aware of any documentation that would give any credence to a departmental cover-up because there is none.

Planning—Hawke review

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Chief Minister and it may seem familiar because it concerns the changes to the ACT government administration arising from the Hawke review. In his report, Dr Hawke said:

… the current arrangements in relation to land and planning are, at best, hindering if not actively obfuscating and frustrating achievement of the Government’s priorities.

Could you please elaborate on which priorities are being hindered and how these changes will fix them?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. Ms Le Couteur has gone to the report and taken an excerpt from a part of the report that deals with some issues in relation to the complexity around approval processes. Indeed, I would point you to Dr Hawke’s report and the discussion around the very excerpt you have quoted where Dr Hawke then goes in some detail into the cause of his concern.

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