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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 300..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Most essentially, reports are a record to the people of Canberra, through elected representatives in the Assembly, and they provide that essential and basic accountability measure. That is why the Assembly then appoints committees of the Assembly to examine, investigate and report on those reports and they report back to the Assembly. That is the accountability measure. It is the government reporting. And the government reported. The Community Advocate raised these issues. The information was provided. It was not covered up. The information was raised by the Community Advocate in her reports. It was provided to each of us, to all 17 of us, and it is a matter of enormous regret-and we acknowledge that on this side-that of the 17 of us, none of us noticed it specifically and took the action which each of us now wish we had.

The government is prepared to stand here and say and acknowledge its regret that we as members of this Assembly did not specifically note those references in those reports. Those reports were provided to all 17 members. They were provided to us and they were provided to you. We stand here and express regret that the matters were not brought to our specific attention and that we did not grasp their significance and import.

You knew about it, it was there for you to see and you did not speak up. We have expressed regret that we did not because those matters, as I say, were not brought to our specific attention and did not enter our consciousness as matters that required the action which this government has now taken.

We are aware of the matter. It is to the minister's enormous credit that, upon being advised of the significance of these omissions, she immediately took steps to ensure that the problem which had persisted for so many years is to be rectified-a problem with its genesis in the period of Mr Stefaniak's ministership.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Given that the majority of members received the report for the first time in this chamber, when were you told about this debacle?

MR STANHOPE: When was it first brought to my attention specifically? It was specifically brought to my attention by Ms Gallagher on-I would have to check records-

Ms Gallagher: On 11 December.

MR STANHOPE: Ms Gallagher says on the 11th. I am aware that the matter was raised by Mr Hargreaves the week before that. I did not realise its significance at the time and nor did, it appears, other members of the committee. So I was aware of an issue but not of its significance specifically a week before that date.

Ambulance officer-recruitment

MR PRATT: My question without notice is directed to the minister for emergency services. Today Tonight on Monday, 2 February and WIN news on Tuesday, 3 February reported that Mr Brian McManus was employed in the ACT as a paramedic after being dismissed from employment as an ambulance officer in New South Wales for stealing drugs while on duty and injecting on his days off. How was Mr McManus able to be


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