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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1529 ..

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Minister, what plans or policies does the government have in place to monitor the effective implementation of section 40B of the Human Rights Act in ensuring that public authorities meet their responsibilities?

MR CORBELL: I think the act actually sets out the obligations on individual agencies. Those agencies represent the territory in relation to those matters that are before relevant courts and tribunals. If I recall correctly, there are obligations on the heads of those agencies to ensure compliance. So the responsibility is with the relevant government agencies that are party to matters in courts or tribunals.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, has any training been provided by the human rights unit to ACTPLA officials to ensure that the Human Rights Act is complied with in the future?

MR CORBELL: I would have to take on notice whether or not the human rights unit has provided that training. In fact, the government has entered into arrangements whereby the Human Rights Commission is available to provide training to relevant government agencies. Indeed, the Human Rights Commission has provided a range of public information sessions to the government and non-government sector in relation to these matters.

Public service—staffing

MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, yesterday you said in response to a question from Mr Hanson that all staff are essential. Last week you said, in response to a question from me about the distinction between essential and non-essential staff:

… agencies have been provided with detailed advice around what is essential and what is non-essential.

How do you reconcile those two statements?

MS GALLAGHER: I think Mr Hanson’s question was about all the staff that had been employed to date and I answered that all of those were essential. The question that Mr Coe asked me, as I recall, was around future employment. The government has taken a view that unless it passed certain tests in relation to front-line services, as of the date of decision—

Mr Seselja interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: that there are areas that are seen as non-essential and that we should not be employing. I am not really understanding the position of the opposition

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