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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 1993) . . Page.. 2256 ..


Mr Cornwell: Give me one.

MR BERRY: The Calvary hospice at Kogarah. That is just one. Madam Speaker, I think that is the view of many health professionals around the country. There is a group of people headed by the Liberals in the ACT campaigning for the hospice at Calvary. I wonder whether Mrs Carnell would campaign for a hospice to be sited at Woden Valley Hospital. I wonder why she has chosen one particular hospital on this particular occasion. One can speculate about that. One might never get to the answer if one waits on Mrs Carnell to provide it. It is not appropriate these days to build a hospice beside an active hospital, in my view. I believe, and I know that there are many people out there in the community who support me, that the proper place for a hospice is the Acton site, the site that has been identified by the National Capital Planning Authority, and that is where it will be built.

MRS CARNELL: I have a supplementary question, Madam Speaker. Minister, if you were never convinced that the hospice should go at a major hospital, why did you sign a ministerial statement that gave the commitment to provide all aspects of hospice care at "a free-standing unit within the grounds of Calvary Hospital"? The unit was to house all the services, including a 20-bed in-patient unit, a home based program, day care services, bereavement services, volunteer services, and education and research services. Why, Minister, have you changed your mind?

MR BERRY: I think I have answered the question. I have never been fully convinced that a hospice should be located beside a hospital, and it will not be.

Speeding Offences - Prosecutions

MR MOORE: Madam Speaker, my question is directed to Mr Connolly, the Attorney-General. Mr Connolly, this morning the Canberra Times reported a major bureaucratic oversight. It has done a series about the ability of the police to prosecute speeding motorists caught by radar. Do you accept that notification in the Gazette is your responsibility under the Westminster system and that the blame ought not be put on your department?

MR CONNOLLY: Madam Speaker, I thank Mr Moore for the question. I think I worked out one day that I am responsible for about 7,000 to 8,000 of the, roughly, 20,000 ACT Government employees. While I accept ministerial responsibility for all papers that flow across my desk and all documents that I sight or sign, I do have some difficulty in accepting ministerial responsibility for a piece of paper that did not get to me, although it should have. Mr Wood very kindly referred me this morning to a letter, which I neglected to bring into the Assembly with me, written to the Canberra Times by Sir Geoffrey Yeend earlier this year in relation to the controversy about pay TV. Sir Geoffrey, I think we would all accept, is one of the best arbiters of what is and what is not appropriate parliamentary and ministerial conduct, given his years of service as head of PM and C. He did point out that Ministers cannot be expected to be across every minutia of administration. While they have to accept the political consequences of an administrative stuff-up, it is not their personal responsibility.


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