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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 845 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

a group from pre-1985 and a group from post-1990 that we are also dealing with because they are people who approached us, and I think that is appropriate. I hope that this information will assist people to understand.

The table includes the cases post-1990, but this transmission most likely occurred because the only test available did give a number of false negative results. Additionally, the window period for sera conversion is 22 weeks. It should also be understood that after 1990 the ACT Red Cross used the most current available test, so the possibility of transmission of hepatitis C could not be avoided despite all care being given. Thus it is deemed that compensation is not necessary, because all care had been taken. However, it is acknowledged, of course, that this is a most unfortunate situation for people who come into these circumstances. The Chief Health Officer, in briefing me, indicated that the window periods before sera conversion are a perennial problem for all blood-borne viruses.

MR STANHOPE: I ask a supplementary question. Thank you, Minister. Can you table the details of the compensation scheme that will apply, now that we are advised that it is not to be a legislative scheme? Can you advise whether the scheme will be administered by your department or the Department of Justice and Community Safety? Can you advise me whether the Government's compensation scheme will consider claims from families of infected people who have died? Can you tell me whether the scheme will consider claims from people who may have contracted hepatitis C from others who contracted the disease from infected blood but went for years without knowing their risk?

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, the questions asked are quite complex. I think trying to answer them on my feet will only cause more confusion. Some of the questions also ask for a legal opinion, but I do want to be as open as I possibly can. Because it is Thursday afternoon, the end of the sitting week, Mr Stanhope, first of all I will offer you and any other member a full briefing on the way we are doing the compensation scheme. Additionally, I shall bring back to the next Assembly sitting a statement on exactly how the scheme is operating and what we are going to do, rather than give an answer on my feet that is bound to leave some elements out.

Bruce Stadium

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. It relates to Bruce Stadium. I am reasonably sure that the answer is Johnny Farnham.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan, it is John Farnham these days.

MR QUINLAN: I knew him as Johnny, Mr Speaker. Do you know that one of his songs started with the words "Help me if you can, I'm feeling down"?

Ms Carnell: That is a Beatles' song. He just did a revamp.

MR QUINLAN: But he made it a big hit.

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