Page 1111 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 11.03 am to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

ACT election campaign—communications

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to communication between the government and the public service during the last election campaign. Minister, on 25 September 2008 at 9.51 pm there was an email sent to the ACT Labor campaign director, the head of the Treasury Department and various ministers’ staff and ALP staff. The email discusses a draft Labor Party campaign announcement. Minister, is it appropriate for any email to include the Labor Party campaign director and the head of ACT Treasury in the middle of an election campaign?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not know what email the Leader of the Opposition is referring to and I would be happy to have a look at it before I answer the question.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Thank you. Minister, was Treasury used by the Labor Party during the 2008 election campaign to do its work?


MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how can the public have confidence that there is a suitable separation between the Labor Party and the public service?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, if the Leader of the Opposition has an email that can assist us with this discussion, I would please ask that he table that email now so that we can actually understand the information that the Leader of the Opposition has. That would assist the discussions perhaps at this point.

But from my point of view, as Chief Minister I have made clear my expectations of my team and the role of the public service. There are very clear separations between what is party political and those matters which cover the public service in terms of the operations that they do to support the executive.

I have been very clear about that in my meetings within the cabinet and with directors-general of the public service. The ACT community should have trust in that.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

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