Page 3191 - Week 11 - Thursday, 13 September 1990

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Thursday, 13 September 1990


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.



Debate resumed from 14 August 1990, on motion by Mr Wood:

That the recommendations be agreed to.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (10.31): Mr Speaker, I will not be detaining the Assembly for very long this morning in dealing with this matter. The Labor Party supports the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee in its report into an independent advisory committee against corruption. We also support the Government's response which it made last month.

The Public Accounts Committee inquiry, as I am sure members do not really need reminding, had its origins in some fairly wild allegations which were being thrown around at the time, and which were made, indeed, from the very commencement of self-government, by the present Attorney-General.

It is interesting to note that, although at that time the present Attorney-General seemed to believe that the matter was one of great urgency, it has taken quite some time to be resolved, and in fact he has taken not much part in its resolution.

At the time those allegations were thrown around it was a case of saner heads prevailing, and the Public Accounts Committee, which at the time was chaired by Mr Kaine, was asked to inquire into the matter. I believe that the Public Accounts Committee has come to some very sensible conclusions about the need for appropriate structures in the ACT to guard against possible corruption.

At the time that the inquiry was conducted, I was the Chief Minister and Attorney-General. I was very pleased to be able to cooperate with that inquiry by providing a discussion paper from the Government Law Office which canvassed the various models for investigating corruption which already exist elsewhere in Australia. That paper outlined a number of different possibilities for the ACT.

The conclusion that there should be an independent body to receive complaints or allegations and to refer them for investigation seems to me to be a very sensible, modest and

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