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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3262..


ACTTAB-payments to unsuccessful tenderers

MR CORBELL: My question is to the Chief Minister. Can you tell the Assembly if it is normal practice for ACT government agencies and departments to make payments to unsuccessful tenderers as compensation for the cost of preparing tenders?

MR HUMPHRIES: It is not normal practice, but I believe that there are circumstances in which it does occur where, because of the nature of a tendering process, additional costs are incurred by tenderers which are unusual. Although I cannot specify a particular case where it has occurred, I believe it does take place from time to time.

MR CORBELL: Can you then explain why the ACTTAB board agreed to pay $5,000 to each of the four short-listed tenderers for its headquarters redevelopment project?

MR HUMPHRIES: I cannot explain that without taking the question on notice, but I imagine it is for a reason like the one I have just suggested.

Victims services scheme

MR HIRD: It is interesting, Mr Speaker, that no-one has mentioned the $344 million this week.

My question is to the Attorney-General, Mr Stefaniak. The government changed the processes for victims of crime rehabilitation and compensation in late 1999. How has the new victims services scheme been operating since its inception? Have there been any alternatives proposed to this scheme and what will the impact be on the ACT budget if these alternatives are implemented?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Hird for the question, Mr Speaker. That $344 million was the deficit they left us, wasn't it?

Mr Hird: Yes.

MR STEFANIAK: Right. As members will be aware, the new victims services scheme was introduced by the government on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1999. That is actually when it came into effect. The Assembly was not sitting on that night.

There is a very substantial reason for this. The previous scheme was actually costing the ACT taxpayer ever-increasing amounts of money and no other assistance, other than straight cash, was being provided to victims. Very little rehabilitation was being undertaken and the cost of the scheme, which had risen to more than $6.5 million in its last full year of operation, was certainly starting to get out of hand, even though there was not a good return in terms of rehabilitation.

That was not acceptable to the government and so we set in place a new scheme whereby only the most severe cases would actually result in a straight cash compensation payout. However, this was to be a scheme that ensured that all victims would be able to access essential rehabilitation services.


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