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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4824..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

have witnessed on internet sites-in risk-assessment procedures in terms of investigations of suspected child abuse. I presume they could already be taken into the risk assessment, but I will have a look at it.

I understand your commitment in this area, and I am happy to get Child Protection to talk about it with you if you like. I saw it, too, and it is disturbing.

Motor vehicle registration surcharges

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. On 26 June this year you agreed that the impact on low-income people of the surcharges on short-term registration was concerning, and you undertook to quickly and comprehensively review the application of these surcharges. When will the Assembly be informed of the results of that review?

MR WOOD: Yes, I did make the statement that I would act quickly, and I thank Ms Dundas for giving me a prompt about that quickness. I can say to the Assembly today, as a result of Ms Dundas' representations, we will be making some moves. Ms Dundas made the point that pensioners, gold-card holders and students needed some consideration, and we have agreed on two of those. We are holding up on the students at the moment because, while we can identify people in need in those other two categories, we cannot always claim that students necessarily come from difficult circumstances. I thank Ms Dundas for her efforts. Gold-card holders and pensioners will be open to those concessions, and I will be giving more precise details of that any day.

MS DUNDAS: I ask the minister a supplementary question. When looking at the impact of surcharges we also looked at the administration fees on phone and internet transactions. Can the minister inform the Assembly where that part of the review is up to?

MR WOOD: No, I cannot. That is not quite so easy for me to resolve. I will have to come back to the member on that matter quickly, or as soon as I am able.

Alcohol and drugs task force report

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Health and concerns the mental health strategic action plan and the strategic plan coming out of the alcohol and other drugs task force. Can you advise the Assembly if you have seen these plans, when they will be publicly released and how they will inform the budget process?

MR CORBELL: I have been briefed on the detail of the issues raised in the report of the drugs task force, which the government established after its election. That final report has not yet been submitted to me, but I am aware, from briefings with ACT Health officers, of the detail of that report. It has certainly been figured into my consideration as we prepare for next year's budget.

In relation to the mental health strategy, whilst I have not seen the final form of the document, I am aware of the details that have been worked on to date. They are also part of the consideration by me in the lead-up to next year's budget.


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