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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (17 March) . . Page.. 1001..


MS BURCH (continuing):

Some of these clients require 24/7 care, some of them have complex physical and medical needs, and we have to make sure that that is accommodated. I am not going to compromise safety just in a rush to transition people out of hospital.

Sentence Administration Board—decisions

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Attorney-General. In the JACS committee hearings on the annual reports held on 25 November last year, you said, in response to questions that I asked about the decisions of the Sentence Administration Board:

... the board now has in place robust arrangements. They have sought the advice of the Government Solicitor in relation to the conduct of their hearings, to ensure that these matters do not reoccur.

It is clear now, Mr Speaker, that these problems are continuing. According to the Canberra Times this week—

Mr Stanhope: This is a preamble, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne—

MRS DUNNE: I am entitled to a preamble in the first question.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne has the call.

Mr Hargreaves interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hargreaves! Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: My questions are in order and I am entitled to a preamble. According to the Canberra Times this week, a recent case is "the latest in a series of board decisions to be challenged successfully in court resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and compensation". Attorney, what advice did the board seek and receive from the Government Solicitor? Has the board followed that advice and will you table that advice before the Assembly rises today?

MR CORBELL: It is not the government's practice to table legal advice provided to government agencies. That would be the same position in relation to this matter. In relation to the advice that is provided to the board, I am aware that the board has sought detailed advice in relation to the conduct of its proceedings to ensure that procedural fairness and a range of other considerations are given proper consideration. I am confident that that remains the case.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Attorney, how much has been spent in legal costs and compensation by the ACT in relation to successful challenges to the Sentence Administration Board's decisions?


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