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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3159..


MR WOOD (continuing):

The ACT remains committed to increasing funding for disability services. However, the ACT still requires the ability to offer the funding mix in the budget to respond to local needs and demands. It is unreasonable for the Commonwealth to expect to have a level of control, as they contribute only 20 per cent of total funds for disability services in the ACT.

Senator Vanstone has more recently expressed her disappointment that the states and territories had not addressed her request for funding commitments. We are still arguing, I think quite fairly, for more money. A teleconference has been held between ministers of all state and territory jurisdictions to discuss the basis of a reply to Senator Vanstone's last approach.

Sheila McHale, the Western Australian minister who is chair of the community and disability service ministers council, sent a single response on behalf of us all requesting an opportunity to meet with Senator Vanstone. This response asked Senator Vanstone to confirm a date for a meeting with all ministers by 18 September. I regret that this has not happened.

The ACT, along with all other states and territories, is committed to continuing multilateral negotiations with a focus on the best possible outcomes for people with a disability. Ministers will meet with Senator Vanstone at any time. She can pretty well name the day. Meanwhile, October gets closer.

Public liability insurance

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan. Mr Quinlan, on 20 August 2002, you said in this Assembly in relation to my legislation on public liability insurance:

Not in our worst day would we puddle with the legislation that Mr Smyth is contemplating. It is totally inconsistent with what is happening across Australia and what is happening with the intergovernmental agreement, which is gaining the support of both the Neave committee and the Ipp committee in making sure that we do it properly.

Mr Treasurer, you sent a letter recently to Senator Coonan which said about the Ipp review:

Its findings for the most part will have little bearing on the ACT legislative reform agenda; an agenda that will be implemented over the next 12 months.

Treasurer, why has the government decided to move away from a national approach, given that you have been advocating such an approach for the past two months? When did the government decide to go its own way?

MR QUINLAN: I find it quite bizarre that Mr Smyth is on his feet talking about a national approach when he has previously cobbled together a dog's breakfast of legislation completely oblivious to any national approach. However, the concerns that I have in relation to the Ipp report are concerns that have been canvassed in the educated media. We have some concerns. As Mr Stanhope advised the house in his very erudite


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