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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 15 November 2005) . . Page.. 4126 ..

The ACT Government Solicitor and the Director of Public Prosecutions are the two agencies most involved. In the one instance, the ACT Government Solicitor is an ACT public servant. I have instructed the ACT Government Solicitor’s Office always to observe the rules of a model litigant, the behaviour and ethics of a model litigant.

It is not an instruction that I can issue to the Director of Public Prosecutions as such because the Director of Public Prosecutions is an independent statutory office, and I do not instruct the Director of Public Prosecutions on anything. I expect the Director of Public Prosecutions to behave as a model litigant. In all my conversations with, and in the annual reports of, the Director of Public Prosecutions, I am aware that he has often referred to the fact that he behaves as a model litigant.

I would expect the Legal Aid Commission—once again I do not instruct the Legal Aid Commission—to behave as a model litigant. One ACT government agency, I guess, at the forefront of the pursuit of litigation or legal issues on behalf of the ACT government is the ACT Government Solicitor. I have instructed the Office of the ACT Government Solicitor that they are to act as a model litigant.

The recourse, essentially, in relation the ACT Government Solicitor is that I have instructed them to behave as a model litigant, and I would be most distressed if they were not. It has not been brought to my specific attention that they are not. In relation to the other agencies in the front line of legal activity of the territory, namely, the DPP and the Legal Aid Commission, it is not for me to instruct them.

I take it from the broader nature of your question that you are more concerned about the way in which other ACT government agencies—those not involved in the pursuit of the law as such—are perhaps not responding as you would expect, for instance, to orders of the ATT. Those are administrative matters; they are not matters that would go to the model litigant rules. I would have thought those were not specifically matters caught up in that; more generally, they are matters of administration.

Then again—this is the trouble; I am hypothesising—if you are suggesting that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has made an order and that an ACT agency or public servant is deliberately refusing to implement an order of the AAT, then there is recourse to the non-response to the order. I will take advice on that.

Housing—national survey

MS PORTER: My question is directed to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Could you advise the Assembly how the ACT fared in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s public housing national social housing survey 2005?

MR HARGREAVES: The ACT government is one of the biggest landlords in the country. We house around 25,000 Canberrans in a portfolio of more than 11½ thousand properties—many tenants and many homes. In fact, it is around nine per cent of all housing in Canberra. It is a major responsibility and one we take very seriously.

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