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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 3475 ..

Karralika Therapeutic Community

MR BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Health and it is in relation to the involvement of two of the Minister's former political colleagues in the Karralika drug rehabilitation centre. Is it true, Minister, that the cost of the consultancy awarded to one of them was approximately $20,000? If not, what was the cost? Is it true that the consultancy was carried out with no contract in place? Will you explain how public funds were committed without a contract in place?

MR MOORE: Mr Berry, thank you for the question. I am delighted to take questions from you. It is a contrast from the question that Mr Rugendyke asked the Minister for Education. I note from the advice I have, Mr Berry, that your shadow portfolio responsibility is education and you have asked one question all year on your shadow portfolio. I will have to say that to date - - -

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Relevance.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. Relevance, Mr Moore. Just answer Mr Berry's question, please.

MR MOORE: I am about to work on that. Today, Mr Speaker, we have the first question on notice from Mr Berry. I think it is important to say, since Mr Berry started the question by referring to my former political colleague in this way - - -

Mr Berry: Two.

MR MOORE: Two political colleagues? In this consultancy? I do not have two political colleagues in this consultancy. I actually do not understand - - -

Mr Berry: Would you like me to repeat the question?

MR MOORE: You can do that in your supplementary question if you like, Mr Berry. I am aware of one member who ran with me in 1992, Dr Stephen Mugford. This consultancy, Mr Speaker, was one of the interesting ones where I had suggested an alternative name to the department. They came back to me and said, "No, we have given the consultancy to one Dr Mugford because he has done previous consultancy work for the Department of Health. Do you have any objection to that?". I said, "No".

Mr Berry, if you are prepared to provide me with a little bit of notice on questions that involve detailed financial matters I will be able to answer those questions very specifically. I will take that part of the question on notice because you are entitled to ask that and you are entitled to know the answer. My recollection is that it is in that sort of order but you will no doubt be provided with information. As I say, if you give me a little bit of notice I can answer that sort of question specifically.

This particular consultancy was handled by the department, the purchasing section. The purchasing section of the department handles such consultancies, and it handles them in the way that they consider appropriate. I have, as a general approach, asked the particular officer involved, "How do you go about contractual matters and so forth?",

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