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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 1 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 237..


MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Hird for the question. Yes, I can. I am pleased to say that the Australian Federal Police have investigated the allegations of misuse of ACT and Commonwealth Government funds by the Master Builders Association (ACT) group apprenticeship scheme and they have determined, after their due investigation, that there has been no abuse of funds and no criminality. The AFP report supports the findings of the Australian National Training Authority, which also investigated the matter and cleared the scheme of any impropriety.

Mr Speaker, group training schemes such as this provide a valuable and flexible training environment in which apprentices can gain a wide range of experience relevant to their trade. They are an example of a strong industry commitment to training, which the ACT Government fully supports. It is a matter of concern to this Government that the employment of apprentices under the scheme was put at risk by these baseless allegations, and this has caused unnecessary hardship to these young people. The ACT branch of the Master Builders Association is rightly demanding an apology in Federal Parliament for these unfounded allegations, which were raised in Federal Parliament by Mr Peter Duncan, MP, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General.

Acton-Kingston Land Swap

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I direct a question to the Chief Minister, again concerning the Acton-Kingston land swap. Prior to her announcement on that deal, as she says, what advice was she given about the cost of clearing the Kingston site - not the decontamination but the clearing - and what advice was she given about the cost of restoring the Kingston powerhouse to an appropriate use?

MRS CARNELL: It is hard to believe that people on that side of the house can continue to ask the same question over and over again. The Kingston powerhouse - - -

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order. If the Chief Minister is correct in saying that, Mr Speaker, and had she answered the question fully, she could rely on standing order 117(h) not to have to take the question.

MR SPEAKER: If that was correct, I would agree with you, Mr Moore. For my own part, I would have to ask the Chief Minister to rely on that standing order. I am bemused, to say the least, with the apparent repetition of the questions, but I am not sure. I will have to leave it to the Chief Minister to take the point herself. The Chair cannot recognise this, even if we questioned the Acton Peninsula issue brick by brick.

Mr Wood: To discuss that point of order, Mr Speaker: I can emphatically state that that question has not been asked. The Kingston powerhouse, for example, has not been mentioned in all this debate.

MR SPEAKER: I am happy to take your word on that, Mr Wood.


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