Monday 22 June 2009
Legislative Council
Estimates Committee B (O'Byrne) - Part 1

Mr GADD - Can I add, every allegation and every issue that was raised by the Brammalls was investigated thoroughly.  In some cases there was fault found and in others there was not.  In every instance where we could have improved ourselves or fixed our systems, we either had already done that prior to the investigation starting or we have since done it.  I have subsequently conducted a follow‑up, or sought a follow‑up report from Mr Mooney, to verify that the Parks Service has in fact implemented all of those changes.  So I can sit here now, as director, and be confident that every issue where we were remiss in that exercise has been addressed and addressed totally.

Ms O'BYRNE - There has been an agreed settlement of $300 000 plus legal costs.

Mr DEAN - That is the payment your department has made or the Government has made?

Ms O'BYRNE - The Government has made, yes.  It was sourced from the Tasmanian mismanagement fund.

Mr DEAN - That is still not concluded, is it?

Ms O'BYRNE - Yes.

Mr DEAN - There is a civil action continuing, isn't there?

Ms O'BYRNE - No.  They received a $300 000 payment from us at the end of last year.  We paid their legal costs last month of $71 000.  I am not aware of any ongoing claim.

Mr DEAN - I thought there was a pain and suffering and embarrassment clause still being continued civilly.

Ms O'BYRNE - No, that was part of the $300 000 settlement.

Mr GADD - They would maintain their legal right.  I would imagine they would still have an option to pursue a civil claim, but we are not aware of that.

Mr FINCH - Just to make comment on that, I would have thought the hurt and the suffering that the Brammalls went through to get a payment of just $300 000 and their legal expenses covered was really quite a paltry amount, compared to the journey down which they traveled and the way they had set their future on that project, and been given the green light, and gone ahead and put a lot of planning into that situation.  I imagine they probably agreed to the $300 000 just to get shut of it and to get on with their lives.

Ms O'BYRNE - I am not able to comment, as the terms of the agreement say.

Mr FINCH - Thanks for the opportunity.

Ms O'BYRNE - I cannot say anything.  I am in the position of not being able to defend myself either, but there you go.

CHAIR - That was a statement from the member for Rosevears, but a very accurate statement.  

Ms O'BYRNE - Perhaps.  I could not comment on its veracity.