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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 896..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

all the transcripts, particularly the fire commissioner's transcripts, to you so that you can get his impression of what he knew or what he understood.

Mrs Dunne: I rise on a point of order-standing order 118 (b). We are talking specifically about the Chief Minister's account of events; we are not asking about what the fire commissioner may have said in the coronial inquest. We are asking about things that were said in this place, and nowhere else.

MR SPEAKER: I think that you raised three points that you wanted the Chief Minister to respond to. As far as I can see, he is trying to respond to them.

MR STANHOPE: I was going to do that, but I will not bother. The position put by the member raises a range of points around things it is alleged I or other members of the government said. The assertions essentially do not reflect, as I understand it, what was said; they are summaries of what was said. I do not accept the summaries and I am not answering the question.

MRS DUNNE: I ask a supplementary question. Why do you keep changing your story as more details about the warnings to the government about the bushfires become public knowledge? Why have you changed your story that you do not read newspaper reports and transcripts from the coroner's inquest?

MR STANHOPE: I have not.

Child protection

MRS BURKE: My question is to the minister for health and planning, Mr Corbell. Minister, it is now clear that on 3 October 2002 the Community Advocate, Heather McGregor, briefed you as the then minister for family services with regard to serious criticisms of your department contained within an OCA report. Given that these were very serious criticisms of your department, why didn't you address them? Do you agree that it was your failure to ensure that the concerns of the Community Advocate were addressed that led to the problems in the child protection system getting worse?

MR CORBELL: I think that I have answered this question. Mrs Burke keeps casting around desperately looking for relevance in this debate.

Ms Gallagher: She is short-staffed.

MR CORBELL: I know that she has some staffing issues at the moment. That might be affecting her capacity. The staff resources in her office or lack thereof or the reasons for the departure of staff might be-

Mrs Burke: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker, on relevance.

MR SPEAKER: If we bring in the relevance rule we might have some trouble.

MR CORBELL: I am just making the point that she might be struggling due to a lack of staff, Mr Speaker.


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