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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 3754..


MR CORBELL: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I thank the Chief Minister for his answer. Chief Minister, what action is being taken within the GDA to ensure that this problem will not occur again? Will you initiate an independent inquiry separate from the GDA into the conduct of this matter?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the GDA were at pains to point out that the uncertainty about the treatment of taxation issues is a matter that is not likely, by its very nature, to occur again. Again in the GDA's defence, what occurred was that a request was made to the Australian Taxation Office for a ruling on the issue that was causing the problem with the preparation of the tender process and that ruling, after several attempts, was still not forthcoming at the point when the relevant decisions had to be made about the tender process.

I would hope that we will not be in that position again, Mr Speaker. Therefore, I cannot see this issue recurring. However, I have indicated very clearly to the GDA and, indeed, to other agencies of government that I expect issues of this kind to be handled well, with due regard to probity, and in such a way that the issues that were given rise to in such a case do not recur. I was reassured by what I heard from the GDA, but I was not prepared to accept until the final advice is received that this is the end of the matter.

Will I conduct an independent inquiry? I do not see the need for doing that at this point in time. I want to see what the advice is from Mr Tracey. If the questions are adequately answered as to why this occurred and the advice does not expose any systemic problem with the way in which the GDA conducts its work, I do not believe the case for an independent inquiry will be made out. But that is a matter on which I will reserve my judgment until I see that final advice.

Bicycle Helmets

MR WOOD: My question is addressed to Mr Stefaniak, both as minister responsible for police and as education minister. It is an important issue, bearing in mind its capacity to save lives. Minister, I see a trend for more young cyclists not to wear a helmet, and this trend is confirmed - I see the Chief Minister nodding - as I talk to young people, who believe they are under no pressure to wear a helmet.

I raised this question with Mr Humphries and received a comprehensive reply from him in which, quoting the chief of police, he said that ACT Policing preferred not to take the punitive action of issuing infringement notices but believed that a verbal warning from a police officer about the benefits of wearing a helmet had much greater potential to influence the future behaviour of young cyclists, and I agree with that.

Given the anecdotal information from young cyclists and my own observations that police appear to be ignoring them when they do not have a helmet, can you confirm that police would be actively requiring helmets to be worn and that this issue is also treated with importance in schools?

MR STEFANIAK: Certainly in relation to the police, I note what my colleague the Chief Minister has written to you, and I take it that was prior to the change of Chief Minister. I would like to get a copy of that, if I could, Mr Wood. I am interested that you


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