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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 1993) . . Page.. 2519 ..


Until we have an outcome from the Capital Duplicators case this is all speculation, I am afraid, and the best that we can do is ensure that there are safeguards in place if we do get an outcome which is the very worst sort of outcome for this Territory.

Literacy - Government Notices

MR MOORE: My question is to the Chief Minister. In an interview with Elaine Harris some months ago Gabrielle Jarvis explained some of the difficulties that people who are barely literate have in reading bills. That is bills that you need to pay, not Bills that get tabled in the parliament, which we all have difficulty reading. One example she gave of a very poor bill from a literacy point of view was the parking infringement notice issued by the ACT Government. Will you have a memorandum circulated throughout all government areas which seek payment from the community, to ensure that when preparing notices they take literacy difficulties into account?

MS FOLLETT: I thank Mr Moore for the question, Madam Speaker. In answering this question on literacy I would like to point out to members that it was this Government that abolished the fees for literacy courses at the Canberra Institute of Technology so that those literacy courses are more available to people who require them. But I take Mr Moore's point, or perhaps Ms Jarvis's point, about the difficulty of reading bills. I think that one of the larger difficulties with parking infringement notices, from what I have seen of them, which has not been a great deal in recent years, thank heaven, is the size of the print. The print is very small. I have also complained about the size of the print in some answers to correspondence that I sign from time to time. Madam Speaker, I will certainly take on board Mr Moore's point that we need to ensure that people can understand what is in government communications. That relates, of course, to the way that they are expressed as well as to the physical features of the document. Yes, I will ensure that all areas of the administration are aware that they have an obligation to communicate effectively with the community.

Methadone Program

MRS CARNELL: My question is to the Minister for Health. In the Minister's response to the Select Committee on Drugs report on methadone he said that, as part of the methadone expansion program, by 1 July 1993 three health centres as well as the hospital clinic would be distributing methadone to over 350 clients. Why has this not occurred and why has the Minister broken his promise?

MR BERRY: I thought you, amongst most people, would understand why it did not happen. After all, it was you who pursued legislation which would allow pharmacies to distribute methadone. I told you what our plans were. Our plans were for the methadone program to be contained within government facilities. I think that explains the situation. You should know better than to ask such a silly question, given the history of your involvement in this process. That is the situation.


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