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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4400..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

urgent issue continue without any redress. But that is another debate, and that is a debate we look forward to having. As I say, the advice was:

The Government Solicitor's advice clearly indicates that the Territory could be held liable in negligence in the event of an accident.

Mr Speaker, the letter goes on:

Given the magnitude of the task at hand and the urgent nature of this work, I am seeking your agreement to provide an additional $10 million for fire safety work at the multi-unit complexes.

The letter concludes:

Accordingly, I seek your agreement to provide an additional $10 million through whatever mechanism you consider appropriate to urgently address fire safety deficiencies at ACT Housing's multi-unit sites.

It was through this correspondence, and this correspondence being made available, that I became aware of issues.

As I said, I am happy to look through my detailed diary to see if I can find the precise date. But it was around about 30 May and it was in the context of an urgent request from the chief executive officer responsible for housing who wanted $10 million to address this matter. In the words of Mr Thompson on 30 May:

Accordingly, I seek your agreement to provide an additional $10 million through whatever mechanism you consider appropriate to urgently address fire safety deficiencies at ACT Housing's multi-unit sites.

I understand that is a request that was made of the previous government but which fell on deaf ears. Of course, there is an interesting question to be pursued there about on what basis does a responsible government ignore that sort of advice?

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: will the minister table the advice he referred to in that answer?

MR SPEAKER: It is not a point of order.

Mr Humphries: Well, it is a request that he table the advice. He has made much of it, so will he table it so we can see what it was that the previous government was told.

Mr Stanhope: That is a question, is it, Mr Speaker? I will answer that question. But at this stage, I will take advice on that.

Fire safety in ACT housing properties

MS GALLAGHER: My question is to the minister for housing, Mr Wood. Can the minister tell the Assembly what the government is doing to improve fire safety in ACT Housing properties?


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