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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2134..


MS GALLAGHER: I am waiting for a comprehensive report from WorkCover. I am advised that it takes about two weeks to put together all the information required. I understand there are some investigations going on this year over the alleged unlawful activities that occurred this year. The exact number of them I will get back to you on. I thought I did have it, but I can't see it here.

There certainly are some investigations going on for alleged breaches of the Dangerous Goods Act this year, and there are still seven prosecutions involving last year currently before the court. I will get back to you with those exact numbers.

Bushfires-McLeod inquiry

MR PRATT

: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister, Mr Stanhope. Chief Minister, I note that the reporting date for the McLeod inquiry has been extended to 31 July 2003. I assume the reporting date has been extended to allow for public hearings, in line with your commitment on 2CN on 4 February 2003 that, "It'll be open, it'll be public, it'll be conducted freely and frankly and fearlessly."

Will the extension of the reporting date for the inquiry allow for public hearings, in line with your commitment, or is this yet another broken promise?

MR STANHOPE

: The extension in the reporting time of the inquiry being undertaken by Mr McLeod was at the request of Mr McLeod, Mr Speaker. Mr McLeod informed me that, having regard for the weight of submissions and the issues raised-and also having regard for discussions and interviews he was conducting with those who had sought such discussions or interviews-he had been led to the view that he could not do the task the justice he would wish to within the original timeframe. He asked for an extension of four weeks, which I was more than pleased to grant.

MR PRATT

: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, will the McLeod inquiry hold any public meetings?

MR STANHOPE

: That is a matter for Mr McLeod, Mr Speaker. I am more than happy to write to Mr McLeod and ask him whether he does propose to have public meetings. I know that, in his communications with all those who have been in contact with him, he has indicated that he is more than happy to meet with anybody who has information they wish to provide to him orally which they hadn't taken the opportunity to provide to him in a written form.

As to Mr McLeod's modus operandi, or his intentions, they are matters I would have to take up with him.

Refugees

MS TUCKER

: My question is to Mr Wood. A number of reports over the years, most recently last month, have shown how appallingly difficult life is for refugees who are allowed to live in Australia only on temporary protection visas. Housing is one of the areas the Commonwealth has harshly restricted availability of, and the ACT's public rental housing agreement restricts eligibility to people with no restrictions on their


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