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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4240..


MR WOOD (continuing):

Perhaps your question was prompted by a media release from the Australian fireworks organisation or something of that nature. I told the media today that I am following the tradition established in the ACT, and that is that we traditionally don't provide fireworks on New Year's Eve. We have not over the years provided fireworks on New Year's Eve.

There were two special occasions and I support your decisions in that respect. The millennium was a fairly important occasion, and maybe we needed to do something about that. That was fine. And so, come the next "trillenium"or "triennium", whatever it is called-the next thousand years-by all means let us have it. The next millennium might well have fireworks. The other date, 2001, was the bicentenary. So by all means, for the tricentenary-

Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister, resume your seat. This is just getting out of control. Mr Wood is doing his best and I am having difficulty hearing him. Would you please observe a bit of order. Mr Wood, continue.

MR WOOD: Thank you. It was a stupid question, of course. If you want fireworks for the tricentenary, by all means that can be arranged. But the pattern in Canberra has been that fireworks have not been provided on New Year's Eve, and I am very comfortable with that. On New Year's Eve this year there will be no fireworks.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I thank the minister for that fascinating answer. Can the minister advise what actions he has taken to promote the events, given that the publicity to date has been very low key?

MR WOOD: Mr Stefaniak, I don't know what events you mean.

Mr Humphries: There is nothing for New Year's Eve?

MR WOOD: I have to say, Mr Humphries, that nothing has changed. We have carried on the tradition that you carried on. Canberrans have always shown over the years they are not bad at entertaining themselves and I am quite happy for that to continue.

There may be one slight change in Civic if arrangements bring something to fruition. But I would not want to raise that to a very high level. It will be something appropriate and very modest.

Civil proceedings

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Attorney-General, Mr Stanhope. In the usual course of events the territory is sometimes named as a defendant in civil proceedings before the courts. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly what policies govern whether public servants and statutory office holders are indemnified by the government when the government is named as a defendant in civil actions? In your answer, Minister, I would appreciate it if you could indicate whether a policy exists or whether indemnification exists as a matter of discretion by you as the Attorney-General or some other minister.


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