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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3030..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, there were other things that were very positive about that. I emphasise again to members of this place that TransACT is a venture that carries with it risk. That is the nature of the beast. It is in the telecommunications market, which is an inherently risky market, and it is at the new technology end of the telecommunications market, which makes it even further into the field of being a venture-carrying risk.

Let nobody pretend for a minute that we are not acknowledging that. We are stating fully that we acknowledge that there is a large degree of risk associated with this. But the risk must be balanced against the possibility of very significant advantages for this territory if it is rolled out. For that reason I say it is important for us in this place, as custodians of the public interest, not to let an opportunity like this slip through our fingers, while at the same time remaining vigilant about the obligations which we have to the public purse of this territory.

Bill of rights

MR HIRD: My question is to the Attorney-General. Mr Stefaniak, as Attorney-General and first law officer, you have the responsibility of overseeing the laws of the territory. Are you aware of the proposal to introduce a bill of rights?

Mr Corbell: Do tell!

MR HIRD: Just simmer down, son. You'll get a go in a minute.

Sir, are you aware of the proposal to introduce a bill of rights in the ACT? What is your response to such a proposal, and are you aware of alternative views to such a proposal?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question-

Mr Kaine: On a point of order: has the minister been asked to comment on a policy matter, by any chance?

MR SPEAKER: He is being asked as Attorney-General about a bill of rights. I am not aware of any executive policy on it, Mr Kaine. But Mr Stefaniak will be aware of that himself and would have to avoid it.

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will continue. Mr Hird has asked for the government's response.

MR SPEAKER: Just be careful, Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Hird for his question. I am aware that those opposite have proposed, as the cornerstone of their justice and community safety policy, a committee to investigate the establishment of a bill of rights for the ACT. I often wonder what goes through the heads of those opposite and how much the Labor Party is in touch with reality in relation to this. Here is a party that purports to represent the people of the ACT-


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