When asked to confirm ABC news reports that Chinese hackers had gained information on ASIO’s new national headquarters, Mr Irvine shrugged his shoulders and mumbled “Umm… hmmm,  good question.  I dunno.”

When pressed further he added “How did the ABC find out, by the way?  That’s really interesting.”

“Look, can I get back to you?   I’ll email you asap.   I’ve got one of my guys Gary working on this.”