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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1204..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Board of inquiry into disability services

Papers

Debate resumed from 19 February 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That the report be noted.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call you, Mr Humphries, I want to remind members of a ruling that I gave on 20 February in relation to this matter. It goes to the issue of sub judice. I remind members of a quote from the third edition of the House of Representatives Practice:

Subject to the right of the House to legislate on any matter, matters awaiting adjudication in a court of law should not be brought forward in debate, motions or questions.

My ruling on that day was as follows:

In relation to the two matters still before the Coroner, members should restrain their comments about the cause of death of the two persons involved. In relation to the matter before the Supreme Court, I ask that members refrain from addressing issues in relation to procedural fairness of the conduct of the Gallop inquiry.

I draw that matter to members' attention, and I trust they will take it into account in their contribution to this part of the Assembly's business today.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (11.42): Mr Speaker, I will certainly take your advice about those matters on board.

We have come back today to a very important debate in this place, a debate for which we have been waiting since well before the start of the fifth assembly, and that is the debate on the report into disability services by Justice John Gallop.

This is perhaps the most comprehensive examination of disability services ever undertaken in the ACT. Certainly, it is the most costly. The report, as members will be aware, was commissioned by the former government. The former minister for health and I signed the terms of reference for the inquiry in December of 2000. It was, of course, to be another year before the results and the final report were actually available.

Admittedly, the report was commissioned by the former government under considerable pressure in this place from other members, who believed that an inquiry of this sort was necessary, and that an inquiry of a lesser sort, such as an inquiry by a committee of this Assembly, would be inadequate for the purpose of determining questions about the


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