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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3594 ..


There has been—as I said in response to Mrs Jones’s very first question, if Mr Hanson had been listening—some confusion as a result of this. Some of the staff understood that you were not eligible for testing—indeed, some of the officials understood, and I was advised, that you were not eligible for testing—if you were going to get tested as a result of needing to be tested under a Queensland, South Australian or Tasmanian public health order for the purposes of travel. That was partly around the fact that this was something that we understood required a certificate, not just a text message. So people were either being turned away or might have been tested without a charge or might have been charged by ACT Pathology for that certificate.

That is why it has been so confusing. There have been multiple layers of information in relation to this. If Mr Hanson had been listening to the response to the first question, he would not have bothered asking that one, because it has already been answered.

MR HANSON: Minister, where does it say in the national partnership agreement that the ACT government has the authority to turn away Canberrans from a required COVID test if it relates to domestic travel?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: In the national partnership agreement we have agreed that there is a fifty-fifty funding arrangement for tests that are required under public health orders. That is why yesterday, in my responses to questions in question time and in my response, I indicated that my wording was around the fact testing that was not required in relation to a public health order. There was very clearly some uncertainty around domestic testing, but that uncertainty largely related to the fact that it was not about the test; it was about the certificate. That uncertainty also was around the question about people being charged at the testing centres.

I have been advised that there was no capacity for people to be charged at testing centres. I have been through them a number of times. But that charging was being done by ACT Pathology when people were asking for and requiring a certificate, which has been what has generally been required for travel up until very recently, in my understanding.

MRS JONES: Minister, how did you arrive at the $112 figure for these tests with certificates?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There is a schedule of fees for a wide range of services that ACT Pathology provided, and it would have been in line with that.

Mrs Jones: How did you arrive at this figure? No idea.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There is a schedule of fees. It is a notifiable instrument. Look it up.

Legislation—religious discrimination

MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Human Rights and it relates to religious discrimination protections in the ACT. The religious discrimination bill has


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