Page 1128 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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MR HARGREAVES: The minister may very well have to take this one on notice as well.

MR SPEAKER: Preamble, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: It is not a preamble; it is not related to the question. Will the minister please advise whether the same provisions as apply to the public service also apply to the Legislative Assembly (Members’ Staff) Act in relation to working away from your designated work area?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his very interesting question. I will take it on notice.

ACT election campaign—communications

MR COE: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to communication between the government and the public service during the last election. In doing so, I seek leave to table an email.

Leave granted.

MR COE: I table the following paper:

Integrated transport policy—Copy of email to various recipients from Gabrielle Hummel, Senior Adviser, Office of Jon Stanhope MLA, Chief Minister, dated 30 September 2008.

On 30 September 2008 a ministerial staffer sent an email to the Treasury at 6.31 pm asking for Treasury to review transport initiatives that night and to provide feedback by 9 am the following morning. Minister, are you satisfied that asking public servants to work at night to cost initiatives in the middle of an election campaign would not erode public confidence in the separation of the executive and the public service during the election period?

MS GALLAGHER: I will wait to see the information that Mr Coe has tabled, but what I can see from the ones that have been tabled already is that, from my reading of it and from the guidelines that operated around caretaker, there is absolutely no issue that seems to have been brought to my attention by these emails that would erode the community’s confidence in the operations of government or, indeed, the appropriate caretaker conventions. Again, I draw members’ attention to section 4(a), the provision of advice to ministers. Ministers can request advice from their departments. Indeed, I do not know about the opposition but members of the public service work extraordinary hours in support of the ACT community, as do ministers. We are routinely working at 6.32, Mr Coe. I do not know about you. Judging by the car park out there, there is not too much Canberra Liberals activity after 6.31, is there? We all know that. But it is not unusual—

Members interjecting—

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