Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 394..
MR WOOD (continuing):
affordable housing. It will report before the end of the year. I know that that has been tried before, but we have to do so. I am pleased with the very high calibre of the people who have taken up a role in that task force under the chair of Chris Purdon. I am looking for some good answers. We can use the particular circumstances of the ACT to come up with some solutions. But that is a time away.
I saw in a newspaper today that house prices might be on the way down. That might result in a marginal easing of the situation, but the simple fact is that there is not enough affordable accommodation in the ACT. We will try to overcome that, but I am afraid that it will not be a short-term project.
MRS CROSS: My question is to the health minister. Mr Stanhope, you stated on radio this morning that you refuse to endorse the report of former Supreme Court judge Justice Gallop. Do you have confidence in the report that you tabled yesterday? Isn't it a fact that you have undermined the integrity of the report and sought to pre-empt the outcomes? Are you now denying natural justice to Mr Gallop?
MR STANHOPE: I am not exactly sure what aspects of Justice Gallop's legal rights may have been infringed by me this morning. If I have infringed his rights to natural justice, I apologise to him. I will mull that over, Mrs Cross. I cannot imagine a single circumstance in which I have done or said anything that impacts in any way on Justice Gallop and his lawful rights to natural justice. I will think about that; I might even take advice from the department of justice on the prospect that I have in some way infringed Justice Gallop's rights. I will be most concerned if I have, of course.
I have not in any way undermined the report. I have not in any way pre-empted it. In picking up the responsibility for disability services in the ACT, I am determined to find a way ahead. I am determined that we will have within this community the best possible services that we can manage. That is what I am determined to achieve. That is my absolute determination. I have put in place a framework that will achieve that.
Mrs Cross : Mr Speaker, on a point of order: could I ask the Health Minister to answer my question?
MR STANHOPE: I am answering it.
Mrs Cross : No, you did not. I have asked you: will you endorse this report? You refused this morning on radio to endorse this report. I am asking you a very simple question. I will say it slowly, if you prefer. Will you endorse the report?
MR STANHOPE: What I am doing and what I have done I have explained in detail. I will explain it again, but the opposition do not seem to be particularly interested in how we are going to ensure that people with a disability in this community have the best possible services we can render to them.
In order to achieve that and in order to respond appropriately to that Gallop report, I have created an Office of Disability within the department of health. I have employed, pursuant to a recommendation of Justice Gallop, Ms Anne Cross, who is a noted national