Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 36..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
can be removed. Certain types of trees do not require approval before they are removed. That is the point that I made at the meeting I had with the action group.
I refer, next, to the definition of "consultation". Prior to my announcement on Friday there were no formal statutory consultation requirements because of the use of regulation 12. There was informal consultation with residents, but that was not a statutory requirement. Unfortunately, both those comments were grossly misrepresented on the website of the Karralika action group.
MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services. What is her understanding of the concept of individual ministerial responsibility under the Westminster system, as it applies to her as a minister?
Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order: we have a matter of public importance on the notice paper today dealing with that subject. Is this anticipating debate?
MR SPEAKER: No, it is not a debate. It is a discussion of a matter of public importance.
MS GALLAGHER: I think I touched on this matter this morning, but obviously Mr Cornwell was not listening. It was quite a lengthy speech, so I can understand that.
Mr Cornwell: I don't have a copy yet.
MS GALLAGHER: I have just handed it to the clerk, so Mr Cornwell should have a copy soon. Ministerial responsibility in relation to the matter at hand is when one takes full responsibility when provided with advice that requires ministerial action. That is what I have done every step of the way. I have outlined that process at length today. I have taken responsibility. I went public with this although I did not have to go public. It was very important that I did. I did it the minute I could. The minute I had information available I went public. I put in place steps to address the situation. We put in additional resources. We have a review in place. I am seeking staff from outside the territory. There are a number of things. I am not walking away from my responsibility by any means.
MR CORNWELL: I have a supplementary question. I thank the minister for that commitment and ask her: are these the standards of ministerial responsibility that she has espoused or as outlined by her Chief Minister?
MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure I understand the question. These are responsibilities that all ministers in this government abide by. It is about being honest, open and hard working and about doing the job properly. I am the only minister who has taken responsibility for this matter, which stretches back a number of years. All of us work this way, and we are happy to stand by those principles that I have just reflected on.
MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Planning, who is also the Minister for Health. As has been discussed today, the issue of Karralika has been of