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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2576..


MRS DUNNE

: My supplementary question goes directly to the minister's responsibilities as the minister responsible for the licensing of brothels. If you find out where this woman was trafficked, how she came to be there and who was employing her, what action will you take-

MR SPEAKER

: That is a hypothetical question.

MRS DUNNE

: I presume he will. What action will be taken against the brothel owner on the grounds of duress, as defined in the Prostitution Act, for which you have responsibility?

MR SPEAKER

: I think you have asked for a legal opinion there.

MR STANHOPE

: That is a request for a legal opinion, Mr Speaker. I don't wish to avoid the question, but I don't have in front of me the relevant legislation, the Prostitution Act, so I actually can't answer the question.

Public Interest Disclosure Act

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Chief Minister and is in regard to the Public Interest Disclosure Act. The Chief Minister will recall that I asked him about the efficacy of the act, particularly in the context of allegations about the University of Canberra.

Chief Minister, in response to those questions, you wrote to me earlier this week advising me that protection from reprisals are properly a matter for the Ombudsman's office to consider. You also advised me that you have asked your department to review the provisions of the act in terms of effectiveness, and I thank you for the prompt response.

Can you assure the Assembly that the difficulty of investigating complaints and obtaining injunctions and the procedures of and ease of communication between departments and agencies involved in the PID investigation are also examined in that review of the provisions of the act?

MR STANHOPE

: I am more than happy to take up that suggestion and follow through with it, and I am more than happy to ask the department to ensure that those issues are included in their review.

MS TUCKER

: I have a supplementary question. Presuming the review also has regard to the jurisdiction of the PID Act, what consideration has been made of extending the act to cover organisations in which the territory has a 50 per cent or more share, such as ActewAGL?

MR STANHOPE

: I cannot say that it has been considered, but in the face of your question and your interest in the matter, Ms Tucker, I will ensure that it is pursued.


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