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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2482..


MR HUMPHRIES: On Friday, 2 August last, Coroner Michael Somes handed down the findings of his inquest into the death of Mr Brett Ponting. The coroner is still to complete inquests into two other deaths which also occurred in facilities operated by the ACT disability program.

As the Assembly is aware, former Supreme Court judge John Gallop is currently conduct an inquiry which, broadly speaking, is required to examine service quality, service monitoring and accountability, consumer protection and resource allocation in relation to disability services in the ACT. The Gallop inquiry also examined the circumstances of the three deaths in disability program premises which the coroner is inquiring into and provided the government with an interim report which deals with its conclusions in relation to those deaths.

After the government received this interim report, it obtained legal advice from senior counsel which recommended that the interim report not be released publicly until the related coronial proceedings were concluded. This legal issue aside, the government has no desire to keep the interim report confidential. As the coroner has now handed down his findings in relation to the death of Brett Ponting, I am now tabling for public information an extract from the interim report which deals with Mr Ponting's death.

The tabling of this part of the interim report is consistent with the legal advice to which I have referred and the government's commitment to make the report available as soon as possible. The government is now considering its response to the coroner's findings and recommendations, which are being worked on urgently by the relevant department. When the final report of the disability inquiry, which will address all of its terms of reference, is handed down, the government will make public a full and detailed response. I hereby table an extract of the interim report of the disability inquiry which deals with the death of Mr Brett Ponting.

While I am on my feet, I wish to express the government's sympathy for members of the family of Mr Ponting. With the tabling in recent days of two reports into Mr Ponting's death, understandably they will have a number of issues raised in their minds at this time, which is, I understand, the anniversary of the death of Mr Ponting.

Financial Management Act

Papers and statements by minister

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Financial Management Act-

Pursuant to section 26-Consolidated Financial Management Report for the month and financial year to date ending 31 May 2001.

Pursuant to section 14-Instruments directing a transfer of funds between appropriations, including a statement of reasons.

Pursuant to section 15-Instrument directing a reallocation of funds and a statement of reasons for the allocation.


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