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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2788 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Osborne for that question. In answer to the first part, I am not entirely sure what is holding it up. Mr Osborne referred to that report by the Legal Affairs Committee of the Assembly last year which indicated clearly that the Territory ought to have arrangements to appoint its own commissioner of police or chief police officer for the Territory. Members will recall that the Government supported that recommendation. I believe it remains the best way of our being able to enhance the accountability of the Australian Federal Police who serve this Territory. I took up the matter with the former Federal Minister for Justice, Mr Kerr, who, it seemed to me, was quite supportive of the proposal. Since the change of government I have had a discussion with the new Attorney-General, Mr Williams, about the proposal. I have not had any indication of a commitment to the proposal.

Mr Moore: Oh, bloody Liberals!

MR HUMPHRIES: Not all Liberals are quite as accessible and easy to get an answer from as I am, Mr Moore. Mr Speaker, I have to say that I cannot answer Mr Osborne's question as to what the hold-up is. I understand from a contact made by my office in the last few days with Mr Williams's office that he is overseas at the moment, but a senior officer in his department has assured me that the matter will be brought to his attention as soon as he returns and a response will be sought. The ACT Government will remain on the doorstep of the Federal Government to provide an answer to us on this question. I believe it is important and it is an urgent issue. It is one that is thrown to greater urgency in some senses by the allegations that have been made about the Australian Federal Police in the last few weeks. I strongly believe a decision is required. We cannot legislate in the ACT for there to be an ACT commissioner until the Federal Government facilitates that. They have exclusive power over this area and we are required to get them to either regulate to allow us to do that or legislate for us to do that. I hope we get equipment to do that very soon.

Public Service - Job Cuts

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I direct a question without notice to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism. My question is this: Minister, can you confirm that approximately 60 jobs have been targeted to go from the business area of your portfolio at a time when your Government claims to be trying to do everything possible to support and encourage the business sector in the ACT?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Ms Follett for her question. Any deliberations by the Government about any jobs staying or going will be part of the budget considerations. In terms of the numbers, I cannot confirm, nor will I deny, any figures in relation to the budget.

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