Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1069..
MRS BURKE (continuing):
Community consultations are so interesting. How much more do we need? How much more information does the Chief Minister need? He already has two consultative bodies that will be giving him information. It just seems ridiculous to me. We have to have more consultation; we applaud that in this place. Here is the Chief Minister; I am very pleased that he has arrived because he may be able to stand up and say something. We have consultation, but we have no time lines. The Chief Minister is going to be provided with a consultative council report—that is one thing—"in the near future". When is that? What does "the near future"mean? "The report will be carefully considered, and a response provided to the Consultative Council."How long is that going to take? "The response may involve a further community consultation process."With whom; and how many more people before the Chief Minister is going to make a hard decision here and set up a council that he set the Aboriginal community up to believe that it was going to have? Of course, they are not going to knock it back, even those who do not particularly want to see the devolution of two committees replaced with another super committee or whatever it might be. So I have to say that I am a little bit concerned that we may never see the setting up of this actual you-beaut body for the Aboriginal people of this community before this side of this year. I mean, when is it to be?
Perhaps the Chief Minister may reflect on his letter and be able to give me a much better answer, once he has read the Hansard and once he has reread his letter, and put some time lines to this issue that he deemed to be so important at the time. People will remember it appeared in the papers at great length. The Chief Minister said we were going to have this body. I have said to him that I would not dispute the need for adequate representation for and on behalf of indigenous people in the ACT. But it is my concern that, if the ACT government intends to fund such an elected body—and the keyword here, of course, is funding—it would be helpful if he would advise me as to how the intended elected body would be funded and what are the anticipated ongoing costs to maintain it. I have had no answers to these questions. So I just ask the Chief Minister again, now he is here, to please relook at my letter that I sent to him on 11 April, review his letter he sent back to me on 24 April and give me a little more clearer detail of the time lines on when this is likely to happen.
Death of Pat Ticehurst
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (4.53): Today I pay tribute to a long-serving member of my office who died last week, Pat Ticehurst. Most of you in the Assembly would have known Pat well. Few of you could possibly know the debt of gratitude I personally bear her and the depth of the loss to me and those who work in my office. For most of my time here in the Assembly, Pat Ticehurst was my gatekeeper, the public face of my station, both in opposition and in government.
People do not often ring a politician for a cordial chat; they ring because they are in distress or because they are angry or because they need help. They ring, at worst, to unload their feelings and, at best, to share them. They ring expecting instant access—and they sometimes deserve it—even when it is an impossibility. It takes an exceptional kind of person to pick up a ringing phone and deal professionally, cordially, warmly,