Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1930 ..
Mr De Domenico: It was Harold Bird and Associates.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR HUMPHRIES: It was not Harold Bird and Associates. Mr Speaker, the veterinary surgeon was Dr Roger Meischke, who would be well known to Animal Liberation because he is, I understand, a member of Animal Liberation and sat on the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee until recently as Animal Liberation's representative on that body. Dr Meischke resigned recently from the committee on the basis of his disagreement with the rest of the committee about a decision it had made about dog collars. Dr Meischke apparently finds himself unable to agree even with other persons whose role it is to protect the welfare of animals.
I tend to prefer the views of the Government's own veterinary inspectors about these matters and the RSPCA, even though it has a policy opposed to the use of battery farming of hens; but it agrees that the standards being met by Parkwood are fully in compliance with the present law. Claims made, for example, that the animals were infected with lice and were underweight were all found not to be substantiated by the inspections done by the government inspectors. In fact, there was some suggestion that some hens in those cages were overweight. That is what the government inspectors told us. Mr Speaker, I think that those who are concerned about this issue ought to be careful about the claims they make in public without being able to substantiate them.
MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I address a question to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. Minister, in the Assembly last week you replied to a question from my colleague Mr Berry asking whether you had tabled the tender documents to select an auctioneer for the sale of 15 new taxi plates. You said, "I will do it now. I will table those". Is it not the case that you misled the Assembly by tabling not the tender document but an instruction sheet for bidders? Is it not the case that the tender document was a handwritten note on a fax cover sheet which failed to state how many plates were to be auctioned and which gave a closing date for tender bids which was four days after the date of the auction? Minister, is this a photocopy of the original tender document? I seek leave to table that document, Mr Speaker.
MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, I tabled what I was advised was the tender document. I do not know what Ms Follett has just tabled. I will have a look at that and pass it on to the Auditor-General, who, as the former Chief Minister would be aware, has agreed to arrange for one of his officers to review the procedures. I look forward to the Auditor-General's response.