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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3218..


Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I can confirm that police records will show that the Easter bunny was booked outside the Lodge at Easter in 1976 or 1977. That confirms that he does exist.

MR SPEAKER: What a wealth of information we are getting from this question time.

Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. At Estimates Committee hearings in July the Commissioner for Public Administration noted that the Department of Justice and Community Safety had responsibility for the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, which she went on to add that they were in the throes of setting up. As I understand it, the committee still has not been established, although last sitting week, in answer to a question from my colleague Mr Wood, the Chief Minister said Mr Humphries' department was "currently establishing an Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee". My question to the Chief Minister is: When do you expect these appointments to be finalised?

MS CARNELL: When Mr Humphries signs them. I do not know.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think I answered this question in some detail at the Estimates Committee. I think I was asked about it at that committee. I indicated, I think, that I would like to move to appoint an Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee as soon as possible, but I feel that there needs to be some acceptable mechanism to be able to do so. I could nominate five or six, or a dozen, people right now to occupy places on that committee, but I think it somewhat defeats the purpose to have at least a wholly appointed ministerial committee if there is the alternative prospect of having representatives chosen in some way by Aboriginal people themselves. That is always the difficult question in the case of the ACT, as members will be aware.

Of course, all jurisdictions are looking at the establishment of Aboriginal justice advisory committees. It is our view that we should consult with some appropriate representative body of Aboriginal people. I would like to do so with the Aboriginal Advisory Council, therefore working with the Chief Minister to see the conclusion of that process. I think it is the necessary precursor to the appointment of an AJAC for the ACT.

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for the response. I seek some further expansion on it if he would not mind. Has the Government approached anyone from the Ngunnawal people to sit on the committee? Has the Government approached anyone to represent the Torres Strait Islander people? How has the Government engaged in consultation with the Aboriginal community during the period of creating that committee?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have not approached anybody yet about serving on the committee, because I do not believe it is appropriate to do so until I have consulted with the peak Aboriginal advisory body for the ACT Government. If I, for example, were to approach members of the Ngunnawal community, I would run a risk of missing out on


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