Page 1980 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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safety regime in place at the demolition site. It is reasonable to assume that the Chief Minister had been briefed on my statement.

2. The Chief Minister chose to comment on matters that went beyond the simple reporting of fact, going as far as to apportion blame on me for the failure of safety, even before an inquiry into the incident to establish the facts had taken place.

3. The Chief Minister was selective in his response, not mentioning matters that were reasonably known to him and the ACT Government under the normal ministerial briefing arrangements. These matters were materially relevant to the statements he made. Their inclusion in his response would have questioned the safety arrangements in place at the demolition.

4. The statement made by the Chief Minister appeared to deflect attention from the failure of safety measures at the demolition site, and instead focused on a speculative and personal attack on me. Specifically his comments portray me as someone acting willfully to endanger my own life, and that of others. He expressed a view that:

MR STANHOPE: ……I also expect the review to give me advice on whether or not a person who deliberately ignores a request not to enter a zone that he has been advised is dangerous as a result of explosions, demolition activity, should be subject to charge for deliberately entering and remaining—

MR SESELJA: You’re not prejudging the issue, are you, Jon?” [Page 5684 Hansard]

This statement appears to make certain assumptions about what may have been said, and prejudges my behaviour as deliberately ignoring advice, advice which I had already stated to ACT Road had not been provided.

5. The Chief Minister made comments of a personal nature attacking my integrity, common sense, and physical ability, matters on which he had at that time no knowledge, and in a way that simple arithmetic would indicate was impossible.

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