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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3162..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

differ from that of the ACT government, that is, to ensure that ordinary citizens can use community facilities, such as sports grounds and parks, without the government paying excessive public liability insurance premiums?

MR QUINLAN: The only answer I can give to that, Mr Stefaniak, is that I think that is a blinkered view of what we would want to come out of this process, because what should also come out of this process is equitable treatment of people who are injured. It is not just a case of manipulating the insurance process, the law of tort and the Trade Practices Act, so that we can facilitate community activity by itself. Certainly, we want those things to happen, but at the same time we are responsible for protecting the rights of the individual.

In the machinations and the considerations of the Ipp committee, we wanted to see a completely objective approach which would have balanced both the needs of government, the needs of community organisations and the needs of individuals.

MR STEFANIAK: Treasurer, if the interest of the ACT government is similar to that of other local governments throughout Australia, why won't the ACT government pay its fair share of the costs of the Ipp committee? Is the view of the ACT government that the only special interest that should be represented on committees is that of the union movement, which is why Mr Whale, of the Transport Workers Union, was appointed to the board of ACTION?

MR QUINLAN: Let me just say that, on 1 July of this year, Senator Coonan sent letters to the state and territories in relation to the establishment of the committee that, collectively, we had decided should be put together. I think we actually talked about the term "three eminent jurists" who would be involved.

On 2 July, Senator Coonan announced the Ipp review, the composition of the panel and the terms of reference. Now, in the space of a day we had Senator Coonan moving from effectively inviting the states to participate and then arbitrarily setting up the committee and setting the terms of reference. That, Mr Stefaniak, lies at the heart of our problem with then being sent the bill for it and on an "each state or territory pays an equal share" basis.

I rather think that some of the process of setting up the Ipp committee has been more a case of making sure the letters are on the files, but there was no genuine consultation in the setting up of that committee. Several states and territories-South Australia, Victoria and the ACT, on my part-have rightly made our views known, as we should.

Conflict of interest

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister responsible for transport policy, Mr Corbell. The Canberra Times reported on 19 September 2002 about an averted stop work meeting of ACTION employees that was called by Mr Andrew Whale, sub-branch secretary of the ACT Transport Workers Union. The Canberra Times said as follows:


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