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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1906..


MR STANHOPE

(continuing):

reforms that we will introduce go, essentially, to ensuring that our courts are as well able to ensure that matters that are brought before them are dealt with in as refined, effective and efficient a way as possible.

The point I make is that a raft of amendments have been made by this government. Some have been introduced into law. A second major tranche of reforms will be introduced next week-major reforms. They are very significant. They need to be treated seriously. The government treats this issue extremely seriously. This government will not be stampeded into-

Mr Smyth

: That's for sure.

MR STANHOPE

: I won't be. This government, much to the jollity of Mr Smyth, will not be steamrolled into trampling on the rights of the citizens of the ACT. When we set out on a program which ends inevitably in the diminishing of rights that currently exist, we will do it only with the most serious of thought and mindful of the consequences for all Canberrans. We are seeking to achieve an appropriate balance in regard to the rights of medical practitioners to ply their trade, following the failure of the medical defence organisation to protect their positions-of course, that is another story-secure in the knowledge that that tort law reform will go some way to dealing with the extreme-

Mrs Dunne

: Some way.

MR STANHOPE

: It will only go some way; we know that. The government cannot legislate to control the premiums that insurance companies will continue to charge for their insurance policies. Of course, those are issues for the Commonwealth government and we continue to wait for the Liberals federally to deal with those issues. This is a serious matter and we have dealt with it in a thorough and serious way.

Currong apartments-survey of residents

MRS BURKE: My question is to Mr Wood, through you, Mr Speaker. My question follows recent concessions by the minister at estimates in relation to the scratchie survey scandal earlier this year involving Currong apartments residents. I am reliably informed of one Currong resident who won $5 or $6 and promptly purchased a couple of bottles of beer or alcohol with their winnings. I understand this person is already struggling with substance abuse issues, while others with gambling problems were similarly affected.

Minister, in light of this information, how can you reasonably justify your decision to entice survey participants in this way?

Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER

: Order! There has been a question asked. The minister has risen to speak to it.

Mr WOOD: I think it is a fair point that people want to intrude into what is pretty common practice amongst people in the ACT and elsewhere. I think you mentioned winning a figure of $6 or something. Was that the figure? I don't know that winning $6 is going to make much difference.


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