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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3549..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

It is more than just the giving of evidence; a range of other issues needs to be addressed as well around court procedure and around other elements of the law, and this package will deal with all of those. The issue that Mr Stefaniak highlights is only one of the matters of concern. But again I simply put the question to the Assembly: if Mr Stefaniak was so concerned about this issue when he was Attorney-General, why did he fail to do anything about it?

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Stefaniak?

MR STEFANIAK: Thanks, Mr Speaker. I wish the minister would listen. I actually said March 2005 when it came to attention. But my supplementary is: minister, how many more cases like this are needed before you will take action, piecemeal or otherwise, to change the law to help victims and why not merely uplift the New South Wales laws, which seem to work perfectly well and which you actually use in other areas of the law to cover the ACT when necessary?

MR CORBELL: It is a hypothetical question, but in response I could ask the same question of Mr Stefaniak: why did he fail in all the years that he was Attorney-General to give any consideration to this issue and to act to reform the law?

Mr Smyth: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 118 (b). The question was not about what Mr Stefaniak did; it was about what Mr Corbell did. Perhaps he should come to the question.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Welcome back, Mr Smyth.

Health—compensation claims

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, on 27 September 2007, I asked you, via a question on notice, for details of the broad categories of contingent liabilities to which ACT Health is subject. On 27 October 2007—that is, one month later—you provided me with the following advice:

It is not possible, in a reasonable amount of time, to break down the figures into medical negligence related claims and other categories as suggested.

Minister, on 8 November 2007, you were able to advise the Canberra Times that—and I quote:

The number—

that is referring to the number of claims for compensation—

included people suing the health system, people who had indicated they might do so and cases where the authorities thought a person might sue.

Minister, why could you provide details of these matters to the Canberra Times but not provide those same details to a member of the Assembly?


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