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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 1995) . . Page.. 312 ..


MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have answered this question quite satisfactorily already. If Mr Berry can say with a clean conscience that his Government never reached agreements with other governments or with the Commonwealth to make dealings affecting land, I suggest that he go back to the question of the procedure of dealings in the early stages of self-government, when the ACT acquired land from the Commonwealth and vice versa. I think Mr Berry will find plenty of instances where agreements of this kind have been reached, and Mr Berry well knows that.

Special Education Needs

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Stefaniak, the Minister for Education and Training. Mr Stefaniak, can you assure the Assembly and the parents of children with special needs that the integration program in ACT government schools will continue through 1995 and 1996?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Moore for the question. The Chief Minister, in the lead-up to the election, made that commitment. That is a commitment made by this Government this year.

Land Transfers - Contracts

MR CONNOLLY: My question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Attorney-General, and he is present in the chamber. The Attorney in his answer to the previous question went off on a dissertation about the statute of frauds and so forth. Clearly, Mr Humphries is aware of certain legal rules that must be complied with for contracts involving the transfer of interests in lands. Why were these not complied with in the present case? Does the Attorney have legal advice, and will he table it, saying at which point a political agreement with the Commonwealth became a legally binding contract which would prevent the Chief Minister, properly advised of the issues, from reopening this and properly defending the interests of the Territory?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the premise on which the question is based is quite false, that is, the premise that the Chief Minister has not acted to protect the interests of this Territory. That is quite inaccurate, and I think those opposite should ask themselves what their motives are for launching this kind of attack on this arrangement. It is exactly the same kind of arrangement entered into by the previous Government, for example, where it offered to provide $13m for the provision of infrastructure on Acton Peninsula. That was an offer made, again transferring quite significant sums of money - $13m - and involving land, which was effected by agreement between heads of government or by senior officers without there being necessarily written contractual arrangements at the same time.


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