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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4746..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I have never been an opponent of asking questions; but I have been an opponent of asking questions if they are simply no more than a trawling exercise. Mr Speaker, I note that the answers provided to that series of questions that cost $100,000 did not appear in the report of the Estimates Committee.

Ms McRae: But we read them.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am sure that you did; but $100,000 was spent which could have been spent on programs in this community, and apparently whatever the person concerned was looking for they did not find. So, $100,000 later, the community is without that money and the question has not produced any obvious benefit. I would say to members that, of course, the right to ask questions should be untrammelled. I am not suggesting that anybody should not have the right to ask a question, even if it is a very expensive question to answer, within certain limits. But I will say that members themselves should exercise some self-restraint about how appropriate questions are and how much money it would cost to obtain the answers to those questions versus the benefit to be gained by asking them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report on Inquiry into Services for Children at Risk

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement to correct something I quoted in my statement on the report on children at risk.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: Basically, in my speech I read out a quote which Mrs Littlewood had referred to in her additional comments. I realised afterwards that I had actually read out the wrong quote. The quote that Mrs Littlewood was referring to was, in fact, from paragraph 4.100, not 4.9, which is what I read out. So, just to correct that, I would like to put on the record that the quote Mrs Littlewood was referring to was the one which said:

During the four years that the staff member (at a school) had contact with E -

the letter E is used to protect the identity -

he had at least 7 caseworkers. At one stage a worker who had been with the department for only 3 months reported that she was the longest serving member of the team at their office.

That is the end of the quote.

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