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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 774..


MR CORBELL: I have a supplementary question. Minister, has your department done any work to ensure that an independent valuation of corkwood will be obtained prior to entering into any binding commercial arrangement with Amorim? Secondly, is it normal practice for the ACT government to get the purchaser of a product also to tell us how much they will pay for it?

MR SMYTH: As I said yesterday, the primary function of the maintenance work on the plantation is to protect its heritage value. We have gone to world experts on that. They are the ones who can provide us with the knowledge and the skills required to look after the trees and then harvest the cork and, in a commercial sense, they are one of the few firms in the world-I am not aware of any other firms-that can give us the information on this valuation. It is appropriate to do it in this way. You go to experts to get an expert opinion.

Parking for the disabled

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. It is in response to a statement he made yesterday, for which I was not here, in relation to my question last week on parking for disabled persons. Minister, I noticed that you said in your answer that both the Canberra International Airport and the Bruce Stadium authority are not under your control and, in particular, that the Bruce Stadium authority, as an independent statutory authority, has decided to apply a commercial parking charge to all of its customers. Given that you have no control or influence over the BOPL board, will you undertake to write to it and ask it to reconsider its decision, or do you support its decision to charge disabled people a fee for their parking spaces?

MR SMYTH: There is nothing to stop members of this place writing on their own behalf, but I am happy to write to BOPL on behalf of Mr Osborne and ask it what is its policy in that regard. Parking for disabled persons is an interesting issue. I receive a number of letters and inquiries about the policy of the government. I have asked the department to review the number of spaces that we have in the ACT for parking for disabled persons. It is currently working on that review. When I have further information about both BOPL and the all-up review for those with disabilities, I will certainly report to the Assembly on it.

Needlestick injuries

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the health minister, Mr Moore. Minister, in November 1999, I wrote to you concerning a needlestick injury that occurred to one of my constituents in John Knight Memorial Park and the lack of information that was available at Calvary Hospital when he was treated for the injury. At the time, I requested that you take the necessary action to review procedures to ensure that appropriate material was made readily available at the accident and emergency areas of our hospitals to assist people to cope with such a situation. Could you please advise the Assembly whether the Chief Health Officer has reviewed the situation?

MR MOORE: It is a shame, Mr Rugendyke, that you did not give me half an hour's notice of a question like that. If you had, I would have been able to answer it. I did make that request. I presume that that has been done, but that is only a presumption. I will come back to you on that as soon as possible.


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