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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5937 ..


MS BURCH: And that I will ensure that the scope and the framework of the review and the inquiry do provide those securities and confidence to those who want to participate in the inquiry.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why are you afraid of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act?

MS BURCH: I might have started a piece of work that is looking at cultural change. I am welcoming of an inquiry. There have been a number of allegations, some of which I have heard for the first time today, that warrant an investigation. To go to an inquiry under the Inquiries Act, as we have said, is extreme and is not, to me, in the best interests of supporting the staff at Bimberi but supporting the residents of Bimberi and the families of those.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, do you believe that the outcome of such an inquiry may very well be diminished or in fact in jeopardy if there is an air of witch-hunt about this?

Mrs Dunne: It is a question of opinion, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: Absolutely. I have—

Mr Seselja: We are allowed to ask them now. He has ruled on it. That standing order does not apply any more, apparently.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a point of order?

Ms Porter: There does not appear to be.

MR SPEAKER: Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: As I have said, I think the project that I have put in place recognises that, from a number of conversations I have had and what I have heard back from staff and members of this Assembly, the residents and the teachers there, some work needs to be done. To go through an inquiry under the Inquiries Act is, to me, a tad too far. If the outcome of this is to indeed effect change at Bimberi so that Bimberi provides the residents the best opportunities that this society and this government can offer, then that is the outcome. Their inquiry, I think, will get distracted indeed. Can I thank Mr Hargreaves for his terminology of “a witch-hunt”.


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