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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1132..


ACT Planning and Land Authority—workplace injury

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Planning. When did the ACT government first advise the federal government that a man carrying out insulation safety inspections on its behalf had received an electric shock while performing his duties in Scullin?

MR BARR: At around the same time that I advised the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why did your officials take so long to inform you and other ministers of this occasion?

MR BARR: I am content that my officials, through the Planning and Land Authority—who, as I am sure the member would be aware, were one of a number of government agencies who were in attendance once the incident was alerted—have undertaken appropriate due diligence in ensuring that, when they did inform me, the information they provided was accurate.

In my view, it is entirely appropriate for those agencies to take the time necessary to provide accurate information to ministers. I certainly do not want to create a culture within our public service that goes along similar lines to what we have seen in the commonwealth public service under previous governments. So to put it simply, there will be no children overboard type incidents in the ACT public service as a result of my ministerial office directing public servants to give information that is later proven to be absolutely incorrect. I think that is a very important cultural point within any public service—to ensure that information is accurate and that when it is presented to government that the appropriate authorities can ensure accuracy of that information.

I am content that the information provided to me by the Planning and Land Authority, who were one of a number of government agencies called to that particular incident, is accurate and has been provided to me in a timely manner.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Minister, will you table all material related to this incident in the Assembly by the close of business next week?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. In principle, I have no problem with that at all. I need to be assured, though, of course, of the privacy of the individuals concerned, most particularly the person who suffered the electric shock. I think all members would agree that it would be inappropriate for that level of information to be provided.

Of course, the further investigations by other ACT government agencies are underway. But in relation to the information that the Planning and Land Authority can provide, yes, I am happy to make that available, and I will make further statements to the


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