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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 192..


MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will just finish the last sentence. Mr Stanhope continued to attack the coroner during last Wednesday's debate. Why, as Attorney-General, have you not only failed to defend the coroner from attacks upon her but also launched attacks on the coroner yourself?

MR CORBELL: I have not attacked the coroner, nor has the Chief Minister, but the government, and I amongst the government, have disputed the coroner's finding. That is an entirely legitimate course of action. There is nothing in the office of Attorney-General that requires me to agree with every decision made by a judicial officer. I am not obliged, nor has any attorney-general ever been obliged, to defend every decision made by a judicial officer. I have not attacked the coroner. I have not reflected on the coroner's capacity or the coroner's ability to undertake her inquiry.

I have disagreed with one of her conclusions, with one of the findings she made, and it is entirely appropriate for me to do so, not only as a member of the government and as Attorney-General but also as the responsible portfolio minister for police and emergency services. The coroner has not behaved in a partisan manner. I have never attempted to suggest that she has. But what I have said very clearly is that the conclusions she reached about what she considered were the political responsibilities of the Chief Minster and the cabinet, which she referred to when she referred to the comments made by Sir Peter Lawler, were quire clearly the coroner entering into a political debate.

Notions of political responsibility are dealt with in the political forum, not in the judicial forum, not in the coronial forum. They are not legal constructs. They are not matters known to the law. They are political concepts that are dealt with and debated in a political environment. That is why I said that the coroner ventured into the political realm-and I stand by those comments.

Public service-superannuation

MR MULCAHY: My question without notice is to the Treasurer. In relation to the underpayment and/or overpayment of superannuation as a result of systematic faults in the Chris21 human resources system you told the Assembly on 13 December that you "at this stage have no real feel for the exact extent of this mistaken calculation". Treasurer, how far have you progressed into the testing process? Can you now tell the Assembly the size, scope and extent of the problem?

MR STANHOPE: I am sorry, Mr Mulcahy, I cannot answer that question directly. I might have the details here somewhere but I will have to take that question on notice and respond to you when I have details of that information.

MR MULCAHY: I ask the Treasurer a supplementary question. Could he also advise me when we can expect that all former ACT public servants might expect to know their correct superannuation entitlements, an estimate of additional costs or recoveries, and what the decision will be in relation to overpayments for former public servants?


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