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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1128..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Ms Eastman also queried the lack of provision in the bill for a complaints mechanism for a person to challenge a police officer's actions or to lodge a formal grievance. The administrative decision-making processes and detention arrangements in the legislation will be subject to oversight by the Ombudsman and the human rights commissioner in accordance with existing territory laws. Accordingly, the Ombudsman will continue to perform his role under the Ombudsman Act 1989 and the Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981. In particular, the Ombudsman will be able to receive complaints regarding the role of the AFP under the ACT laws.

In conclusion, the bill shows that it is possible to fully integrate human rights standards with counter-terrorism measures without reducing the effectiveness of the law or limiting its reach. It is regrettable that other governments have chosen not to fully integrate human rights into their counter-terrorism legislation. The ACT bill demonstrates that when a government makes the effort to ensure genuine community consultation and when it takes the time to get it right it is more than possible to achieve true human security legislation.

Budget—functional and structural review

Debate resumed.

MS BURKE (Molonglo) (3.38): I would like to comment on the lack of information flowing from the functional review. There have been no briefings to the community sector. I have said it before, and I am not ashamed to say it in this place: the Chief Minister has shunned the community sector. I have raised concerns before in this place about the Chief Minister's refusal to provide briefings to the community sector. I believe that community input is crucial to the review being undertaken by the Chief Minister. He is denying peak organisations like ACTCOSS the courtesy of having those broad discussions or knowing the broad background to the functional review, and I think it is a crying shame.

Mr Stanhope's reaction to an article by Stephen Bartos in the "Public Sector Informant"section in the Canberra Times this morning was interesting. I know that a couple of my colleagues have already read excerpts from that article. It makes some interesting points, which Mr Stanhope may not like to hear, that are nonetheless relevant to this debate today. In the article Stephen Bartos says:

Disclosure of information, even if it may be temporarily discomfiting to a government, is in the longer-term interests of the community it serves. Is the functional review a different case?

I do not know, but I assume the Chief Minister has regular meetings with ACTCOSS. I ask him to extend grace to the community sector and provide them with the relevant information. We in this place are entrusted with the serious job of administering the ACT budget. That money comes from the community. I am disappointed that Mr Stanhope will not release any information to the broader community. Let us not forget, as Mr Bartos says, that it was an official review funded by the public purse. It is not as if we 17 members somehow chipped in and said, "Let's have a functional review."Any money that we have comes from taxpayers—no other source. We are potentially missing out on


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