A leaked email has revealed that tough-talking Labor ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope ordered his bureaucrats to prepare an “attack” on the media’s reporting of a land bank scheme he is championing.The Canberra Times reports:

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope ordered the Land Development Agency to take out a taxpayer-funded newspaper advertisement because he did not like a headline that had appeared on a story.

In an email sent on the morning a story about the Government’s OwnPlace housing scheme appeared in The Canberra Times, Mr Stanhope’s chief of staff Jeremy Lasek told the LDA to take out an ad which ”points out the merits of both OwnPlace and Land Rent”. A half-page colour LDA ad appeared in the paper three days later.

The email which was sent on March 11 this year to Mr Stanhope’s staff said, ”The Chief Minister is very annoyed about today’s [article] … much of the information he was hearing about for the first time.”

It said Mr Stanhope was seeking an urgent briefing and a letter to the editor attacking the reporting.

Supporting documents are available on the RiotACT website.