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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 819 ..

MR OSBORNE: Minister, that report goes on to recommend:

Where reviews are undertaken by persons closely involved in the activity in question, there should be provision for a review or reconsideration of the initial conclusion by some body or person independent of the relevant activity;

Do you intend to open up the results of your internal review to consideration by an independent body?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I guess the answer to this is simply that Robyn Sheen is not involved with the milk industry. She has been selected as an expert who has an understanding of the Trade Practices Act. She has conducted a review. I think most will agree, when I release it, that it looks at the issues closely, accurately, and in light of things like the competition policy. I am sure the member will be delighted when he gets a copy of the review later in the week.

Milk Industry Review

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Can the Minister say whether the Government has sought and received legal advice on the question of interstate milk supplies to large ACT food retailers, outside the ACT Milk Authority process? If so, was that advice from a private legal firm, and how much did it cost?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, milk is a hot subject today. A good glass of Milo, warmed up, on a day like today is very useful. The question is about independent advice. On behalf of the Government, Dr Robyn Sheen has conducted a review. Through that review she sought and gained legal advice. When I release the review later in the week that will be open for all to see.

MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I thank the Minister for his response that had absolutely nothing to do with the question, and I thank him for his advice on the question of warm milk. Mr Speaker, the question related to the supply of interstate milk. I refer specifically to the arrangements which Davids Holdings and Woolworths are about to embark on. Can the Minister tell the Assembly whether the advice that was received related to that particular thing? If so, what was that advice?

Ms Carnell: You cannot ask for legal advice. It is out of order.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Order! If it is a legal opinion, you cannot answer it. The Chair is unaware whether that is the case or not, and I suspect that Mr Hargreaves is not aware of it either.

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