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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2522..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

with 40, 50, 60 or 100. Far from it. They just want a fair deal. That is all they are seeking, and it is quite clear from the numbers in this Assembly today that that fair deal is not going to be given to them. It is very regrettable. It denies them basic justice and equity.

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted-


	Ayes 6  			Noes 8

Mrs Burke	Mr Stefaniak  	Mr Berry  	Mr Quinlan
Mr Cornwell     		Mr Corbell  	Mr Stanhope
Ms Dundas     			Ms Gallagher  	Ms Tucker
Mr Pratt      			Mr Hargreaves   
Mr Smyth     			Ms MacDonald

Question so resolved in the negative.

Inquiries Amendment Bill 2002 (No 2)

Debate resumed

MR STANHOPE

(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (6.26): The government has substantial concerns with this bill and believes that it should be opposed. Ms Dundas proposes that section 14A of the Inquiries Act 1991 be amended by repealing subsection 14A(3). By omitting subsection 14A(3) of the act, she would remove the limited privilege, currently provided by that provision, of inquiry reports made public by a Chief Minister outside the Assembly. This would have the effect of requiring a report to be brought before the Assembly before any privilege applied to it.

In her presentation speech, Ms Dundas said that her bill was in response to concerns related to the way the report of the board of inquiry into disability services was made public. Following consideration of the report, and legal advice received, I decided to make the report public by tabling it in the Assembly rather than outside the Assembly. This was done to afford the report full parliamentary privilege, which resulted in criticism as the release of the report was said to have been delayed.

The effect of Ms Dundas's bill would be that, in order to attract privilege, the release of all reports produced by boards of inquiry would be delayed until the Legislative Assembly was sitting. Such a delay would not, in all cases, be acceptable or appropriate. This bill may mean that the implementation of measures to address issues-for instance, identified in inquiries-would need to be delayed.

Ms Dundas's bill is defective in that it considers only a single issue and fails to consider the workings and objectives of the act in a comprehensive way. As I previously announced, I have asked the Chief Minister's Department to undertake a


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