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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 2983 ..

MRS CARNELL: As those opposite would know, they really do have to put in a formal application. It does mean that they miss out on sports grants. My understanding is that we are looking at the possibility of CanTrade and HealthPACT as options to be able to keep them here because, like you, we want the volleyball tournament to stay in Canberra.

MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question. Will it stay in Canberra, Mrs Carnell? That is the question.

Mr Berry: No, she just wants them to.

MR OSBORNE: We are keeping our fingers crossed, are we?

MRS CARNELL: My understanding is that initially, when they missed out on sports funding, we told them to put in an application to HealthPACT and to put in an application to CanTrade. I support them staying in Canberra and we will do everything in our power to achieve that. As you would know, HealthPACT is an independent statutory authority, so we cannot direct what they will approve; but we will do everything in our power to achieve funding from one of those two levels.

Legal Services - After Hours

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Humphries as Attorney-General. It is my understanding, Mr Humphries, that from 31 December people who are arrested and placed in a police station will not have access to an after-hours solicitor because of the $40,000 saving to legal aid funds.

Mr Osborne: What is wrong with that?

MR MOORE: My close independent colleague, Mr Osborne, asks, "What is wrong with that?". I will explain for him as part of my question. No doubt the Minister at least is aware, even if Mr Osborne is not, that the Commonwealth Crimes Act, section 23G, which applies in the ACT, states that all persons have the right of access to legal representation. That is what is wrong with that, Mr Osborne. I understand, Mr Humphries, that you have asked the Law Society to provide this service on a pro bono basis. What plans have you to provide this service if the Law Society does not agree to fill the gap on a voluntary basis?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Mr Moore's understanding is wrong. There is no proposal to discontinue a service to people outside normal trading hours.

Mr Berry: You just decided to cut the money.

MR HUMPHRIES: No. There is no cut of money. I have indicated that the service operated, I think for the last six months - it might have been 12 months - from a firm of solicitors in Canberra that provides after-hours service is being reviewed on the basis that it had a very low patronage, and that is quite understandable. I think that ought to be supported by people who want to know what value for money we are getting when we put this through the Legal Aid Commission.

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