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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1244..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

this budget was brought down. A further fact: this paper says that there was an initiative, in 2002-03, of $250,000.

I will concede that it might not read all that well. But if you in the opposition actually did your homework, you would not have made the blue that the Leader of the Opposition made yesterday, embarrassing himself-following on the embarrassment of claims in the discussion about GST. I appreciate that, as a loyal deputy, Bill, you would like to try and square this off, but the budget papers show that $500,000 is allowed for the economic white paper. It is on page 35, budget paper No 4.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Treasurer, so will you correct budget paper No 3? And what else will turn out to be wrong?

MR QUINLAN: I refer to my answer to the Leader of the Opposition's earlier question. And "Initiatives explained"is the title on page 137.

The question was: will I correct budget paper 3? No. In fact, if you want to take a literal interpretation of it, it says, "There is an initiative,"and below there is a note that says, "Funding was provided in the previous year". It did not say exactly that funding. I understand how you could have made your mistake, Mr Smyth. But if you had done a little more homework, you would not have embarrassed yourself.

Disability services-complaints mechanisms

MS TUCKER: My question, which is directed to Mr Wood or Mr Stanhope, relates to review of complaints mechanisms in respect of disability services and more generally. I do not know which minister wants to answer this question-sometimes Mr Stanhope and sometimes Mr Wood answers them.

My question is about the selection panel for the person who is going to be selected to review complaints. As I understand it, the selection panel comprises heads of government agencies. I understand that a request from the community to have a representative on that selection panel was rejected on the grounds that the community representative would have a conflict of interest. I do not understand why a community representative would have a conflict of interest. If the reason is because they are engaged in services that would be subject to the complaints review mechanism then obviously the agencies are equally in a position of having a conflict of interest. I would like an explanation of that.

MR WOOD: I will provide part of the answer because I have been interested in this matter. I understand that the process is being managed by the Attorney-General's Department but, given that I am responsible for disability services, I have been much interested. Yes, you are correct in saying that a community nominee was not accepted onto that panel. I understand that there has been an approach over a period for the community to be involved. The community has been much involved in all the Gallop process and outcomes.

As I understand it from the briefings and discussions that I have had, the departmental approach was simply a reasonable and proper way to go-a way that does not denote any particular antagonism or resistance to having someone from the community. Members of


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