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Mr Berry: Different Act.

MR DE DOMENICO: Different Act - the workers compensation premium is doubled. I will take intelligent interjections and respond to them. That was an intelligent one. Let me explain it a little further. Yes, it is a different Act; but when the premium is 50 per cent higher - same risk, same doctors, Mr Berry - obviously, this Government needs to do something about it. It will, and it has. I think we ought to allow the due process of this thing to get going before we start forming committees, and we should not be politicising them either. I am concerned that the Trades and Labour Council has decided to pull out of a committee it wanted to be part of and to which it could have had an input, at arm's length from the Government. I am not inclined to support Mr Berry's motion.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hird) adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.30 pm


Mrs Carnell: Mr Speaker, I wish to advise the Assembly that Mr Humphries will be late for question time today, as he is participating with the Deputy Prime Minister in a launch of regional planning strategies. In his absence, questions may be either held until his return - which will be in a short time - or asked of me.

Sexual Harassment Hearing

MR CONNOLLY: Mr Speaker, I will take up that invitation and ask a question of Mrs Carnell in relation to the Attorney-General's portfolio. My question is this: Was the ACT Chief Solicitor present at an ACT Human Rights Office conciliation hearing involving the Deputy Chief Minister; and, if so, why was a senior public officer present, at taxpayers’ expense, on a complaint relating to the private conduct of an ACT Minister?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Connolly, Mr Humphries may be able to add more at some stage. At certain times, in relation to this issue, officers of the Government, or officers of the Attorney-General's Department, have been present because, as you would be aware, the human rights commissioner has yet to rule on who is actually the respondent to this claim. There has been no taxpayers’ money at all involved, nor has advice gone from the Government to Mr De Domenico or his solicitors; but the human rights commissioner has raised the concern that under the legislation she is, at this stage, unclear as to whether it is the ACT Government or Mr De Domenico who should be the respondent to this particular claim. From that perspective, at certain times in this whole procedure, somebody from the ACT Government has been there, very much just with observer-type status, simply because we are unsure and unclear about how the human rights commissioner may rule on this matter.

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