Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1936 ..
MR CONNOLLY: My question is to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. Minister, you said in the Assembly last week that the first knowledge you had from any source that Harold Hird and Associates, the company bearing the name of your parliamentary colleague, had been awarded the contract to auction 15 new taxi plates was on 9 October last. Minister, did you, or any member of your staff in your office, have any contact with any person involved in the tender selection process which culminated in Mr Hird's company, or the company associated with Mr Hird, being awarded this contract, before the final decision was made by the Department of Urban Services or before the successful tenderer was announced? If so, who had contact with whom?
MR DE DOMENICO: I will answer the question in this way, Mr Speaker. I had no contact with anybody prior to 9 October. That was the first time I knew that Harold Hird and Associates had been awarded the tender - not was going to be awarded but had been awarded the tender - and quite rightly so, because, as I said, under the process, I should not have had any contact, and did not, with any member of the Department of Urban Services.
MR CONNOLLY: This is not really a supplementary question; it is the key question: Was any member of your staff, any member of your private office, involved in any contact with the people involved in the tender selection process?
MR DE DOMENICO: The answer to that is: Not that I am aware of.
MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care, Mrs Carnell. Minister, the plight of the interferon program for Canberra's 1,500 hepatitis C sufferers has recently been brought to my attention. I understand that the drug interferon, although it has not yet been fully tested, is the only available treatment for this disease, other than a liver transplant. I believe, Minister, that the Commonwealth Government is willing to provide interferon at no cost if the States and Territories will pay for the cost of administering this treatment. I understand that New South Wales already has an interferon program in place. The ACT Government, on 13 July this year, endorsed the national hepatitis C awareness plan and donated $5,000 to a support group. These same people have been prevented from having this treatment because no funds have been allocated for it in the current budget. Is the Government doing anything about getting an interferon treatment option working here in the ACT?