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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2126..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

pursue an action-should have a capacity in that particular circumstance to pursue the action.

We do foresee some other possibilities-for instance, where the injury was sustained or the incident was the result of a sexual assault and the child, for whatever reason, does not report the fact of that sexual assault to their parent or guardian. Maybe it is the parent or guardian who was the perpetrator. We have taken into account circumstances such as that.

In a situation where a child is sexually assaulted and doesn't notify to anybody the sexual assault, under the rules that are applied in some other states-a black-and-white blanket, six years-that child will never be able to sue for that serious injury that they have suffered, because other states just said, "Rush! Panic! Horror! Quick fix it! A six-year limitation period for children!"What about the 10-year-old girl repeatedly sexually assaulted by a stepfather, father or uncle-never to be able in those states to seek compensation because those states rushed in and said, "Quick, we've got to fix this. Impose a six-year statute of limitations. Keep everybody happy. Don't think about the rights that we're trampling; don't worry about the detail."

This is what I have been trying to say. We are legislating away some very significant rights, and I've tried really hard to get the balance right.

Visiting medical officers-collective bargaining

MRS CROSS

: My question is to Minister Corbell in his capacity as Minister for Health. Mr Corbell, in response to my question yesterday you said you would double-check about outstanding questions on the matter of VMOs and collective bargaining. By now you should have identified them. We await your answers being tabled in the Assembly. Specifically, however, Minister, it response to a question I asked yesterday on the matter of negotiation with VMOs and collective bargaining, you said, and I quote:

The rates of pay vary for VMOs performing the same volume of services, the same services and in the same hospital. The only reason¼

is that one VMO bargained better than another VMO. That is not good use of the taxpayers' money.

Mr Corbell, have you had any advice to suggest your approach will reduce taxpayers' expenditure or have you had any advice to suggest that your approach might in fact increase taxpayers' expenditure? Additionally, you said there are issues surrounding the Trade Practices Act. What are those issues?

MR CORBELL

: First and foremost, I did follow up the question from Mrs Cross yesterday. I can indicate that the questions on notice that she referred to were a series of questions on notice received by my office after the completion of the Estimates Committee hearings-and indeed the period of inquiry for the Estimates Committee-earlier this month. Those answers have subsequently been supplied to the committee office and Mrs Cross can find a copy of my answers to those questions in the answers supplied the committee office.


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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.