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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3920..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

of the land that constitutes the Kaleen horse paddocks will continue to be used for that purpose.

I understand that the contractors who have been engaged by the Department of Urban Services to begin the preliminary work on the Gungahlin Drive extension have now commenced work within the Kaleen horse paddocks part of the Gungahlin Drive extension route. It may be the case that, as a result of the excision of some land to accommodate the Gungahlin Drive extension, the area of land available for the grazing of horses will be diminished and that there will be an extension of horse park areas as a consequence. I am not aware of the detail of that, but I am more than happy to make inquiries.

MS DUNDAS: Minister, I understand there has been some discussion about alternative agistment paddocks, such as a site on Bellenden Road, that would be dominated by exotic species. Will Environment ACT be looking to move the horses there, rather than to sites dominated by less nourishing and more ecologically sensitive native grasses?

MR STANHOPE: Environment ACT will, at all times, ensure that our natural environment is protected to the greatest extent possible. As I say, I don't know of any decisions that have been made or are contemplated at this stage in relation to expansion of space to allow for the agistment of horses that might be displaced from the Kaleen horse paddocks, but it certainly will not be into areas of significant ecological value.

Totalcare Industries

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Yesterday, you told the Assembly that you had not received any information about impropriety and malpractice in relation to Totalcare Industries. You also said, "Nothing has come to my office. Nothing at all, Mrs Burke."Minister, did the CPSU have discussions with your office between May and July of this year about this issue? Did your office make a promise to the CPSU to call the person who was seeking to disclose information about the relationship between Totalcare and your department? Has your office called that person, as promised? Did you provide false information to the Assembly by saying that neither your nor your office had received any information about this matter, as it is clear that your office had received such information from the union?

MS GALLAGHER: I have been advised that there was a phone call from the CPSU alerting my office to the fact that there was a person making allegations about a number of issues to do with the matter that we now know is subject to public interest disclosure and that that information had been given to the opposition. They were letting us know that. As to whether a promise had been made, I am not of the understanding that a promise was made. Certainly, my office contacted the department to raise the issues that had been raised with us over the phone via the CPSU organiser. My department then generated the brief to me to which I referred yesterday, dated 26 July, advising me that there was a public interest disclosure matter and that the advice that they had been given was that I could not be briefed on that matter, in accordance with the act. I stand by the comments.

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