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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2074 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, can the Minister tell the Assembly when the commitment to fund the ADD Inc. application was made by Dr Wooldridge? What evidence does he have of Dr Wooldridge's commitment? In particular, is it in writing?

MR MOORE: No, it is a personal agreement - not in writing - but I have to say that, in my dealings with Dr Wooldridge, any time he has ever said anything to me he has delivered on it. Let me say that the best time to judge is when we have a rehabilitation facility established for young people. Remember that this was said in the context of a whole range of things. Amongst them was the hope that if Michael Lee were the new Health Minister after the election we would have a similar approach.

Towards the end of the debate, Mr Stanhope challenged me by saying that perhaps the word "agreement" is incorrect, that I should have put it as an election promise rather than an agreement because Dr Wooldridge is not in a position at the moment to sign off on an agreement as such. I would hope that the Labor Party would make a similar commitment so that we can ensure that we deal with the rehabilitation of young people in the ACT in the most effective way possible. That would be particularly so in this case with the combining of ADD Inc. and the Ted Noffs Foundation to deliver a first-class, world-leading rehabilitation program for young people who, sadly, get involved in drug use.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Stanhope?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. In the debate yesterday the Minister also indicated that the information that Dr Wooldridge had agreed to support this proposal had been provided to the ACT Government in the last 24 hours. Can the Minister confirm that Dr Wooldridge made that commitment in, now, the last 48 hours? In order to give some substance to the commitment, is the Minister prepared to table all correspondence between the ACT and the Commonwealth on the proposal?

MR MOORE: I did indicate that the last part is not in writing. Certainly, I am happy to table the correspondence on this issue that I have had with Dr Wooldridge over the last little while. Remember that I said to you that I first raised this issue at the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. That was done verbally. I have spoken to Dr Wooldridge on the same matter a number of times at Health Ministers meetings when we were having discussions on a range of issues. I am sure that I said yesterday that I have also written to Dr Wooldridge. I am happy to table that.

This particular commitment was made because I asked the Chief Minister, who has a very good, strong relationship with Dr Wooldridge, to speak to him about it. Actually, I do that quite regularly. I think I would have asked her to speak to Dr Wooldridge four or five times - something of that order - to try to get the best possible outcome for the ACT. That is what it is about. There is no written document; I have made that very clear. It was a part of lobbying. It was an assurance given by Dr Wooldridge to the Chief Minister, a promise - - -

Mr Stanhope: In the last 48 hours, Minister?

MR MOORE: In the last 48 hours. He was prepared to - - -

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