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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 860..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

interest. I know that there is real concern around recidivism, around repeat offenders and around ensuring that the community is kept safe. But I think you would appreciate that, in relation to the operations of the Children's Court and matters in relation to children, there are certain statutory bars to the disclosure of information.

I am not quite sure of the basis on which you have been informed or advised that the young person, whom I believe is under the age of 18, was granted bail. I would have thought that that was information that should not be in the public domain, and that if somebody has been providing you with advice about Children's Court matters it may be that either they are in breach of the Children's Court Act or you are. It may be, indeed, that there are prohibitions, even on a minister for police or an attorney-general, being provided with information about matters that are pursued in a children's court. I pose those questions rhetorically, because I do not know the answers.

Mr Mulcahy: They're in the police report, I think.

MR STANHOPE: I do not know; that is what I am saying. But I will pursue the question, and I will pursue it seriously-I think it is a reasonable question-but I cannot promise, in taking it on notice, to be able to provide you with all the information that you seek.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Attorney, on this matter, when you are checking the facts, and if you are satisfied with what I have advised you here today, what are you going to do to tighten up the Bail Act?

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Mr Pratt is asking Mr Stanhope to announce executive policy and I think that falls outside of the scope of question time questions. The question "What are you going to do to tighten up the Bail Act?"is a request to announce executive policy.

MR SPEAKER: The question was, "When will you tighten up the Bail Act?"That is a request for an announcement of executive policy, so I am not going to allow it.

Mr Pratt: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I didn't ask when. I asked, "If you are satisfied with these circumstances, what are you going to do?"If that is unacceptable, I will rephrase that to "will you, Chief Minister, under these circumstances".

MR SPEAKER: You were asking the Chief Minister to announce when or by what means he was going to tighten up the Bail Act, and that is calling for an announcement of executive policy, which is not permitted under the standing orders, as you well know.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: if Mr Pratt rephrased his question to "will you do that,"is that an expression of announcing executive policy?

Mr Stanhope: I'd be happy to respond to that.

MR SPEAKER: I suppose it would. When is he going to ask the question? His remaining question has just been ruled out of order, so I suppose he gets a turn next time we meet.


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