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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3033..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

proposes to introduce a bill of rights, which, going on the experience of Canada and New Zealand, would see that bill invoked by the accused in many criminal cases.

As Mr Carr quite rightly points out, a bill of rights in those other Commonwealth nations is "routinely used as grounds for trying to overturn the admissibility of evidence, including confessions, evidence obtained under search warrants and breath-testing of drink-drivers". Apart from other issues, it would simply clog up the courts. Mr Carr goes on to say how much litigation there is around the bill of rights in New Zealand and Canada.

So, Mr Hird, a bill of rights is certainly not something this government would countenance. We agree with Bob Carr, not the Leader of the Opposition.

TransACT

MR KAINE: My question is to the Chief Minister. It has to do with TransACT. Chief Minister, I notice that you are attempting to distance yourself from the decisions of the Actew board and the TransACT board on this matter but, given that you are one of the two voting shareholders in Actew and that you therefore do have a direct interest, can you inform us whether or not, in connection with the additional $30 million investment of public money by Actew in TransACT Communications Pty Ltd, you were consulted as one of the two voting shareholders? If you were, were you informed during that consultation that without this further investment the telecommunications company might possibly be forced to seek the appointment of an administrator?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Kaine for his question, but I note that he already knows the answer to it, since he was a member of the Finance and Public Administration Committee of this place, which heard evidence on that matter-

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The evidence that was given to my committee was given in confidence, as the Chief Minister well knows, and what I know or do not know is not a matter of interest, since I cannot reveal what was said to me in that committee hearing.

MR SPEAKER: It was an in-camera hearing.

MR HUMPHRIES: Indeed, Mr Speaker. The fact is that Mr Kaine did hear that question asked and he did hear the answer to that question. It is unfortunate that, armed with that knowledge, Mr Kaine comes into this place, despite the evidence having been provided in camera, and decides to air a question to which he knows the answer by virtue-

Mr Kaine: You can claim confidentiality if you wish.

MR HUMPHRIES: No, I am not claiming that; quite the contrary. I am quite prepared to put the information on the table. I am not claiming confidentiality. I am answering the question, but I make the point that this matter has come to public attention as a direct result of the fact that in-camera evidence given to an Assembly committee was produced in the public arena. Mr Speaker, I think that is a breach of privilege. Needless to say, this


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