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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3153 ..

Mr Stanhope: We are all keen to find out as much as we can about the implosion. We are waiting with interest.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for that question and I hope Mr Stanhope can contain himself enough to let me answer. I am sure he will be much edified by the answer. Why the Government would want to delay an inquest which has dragged on for a very long time is beyond me. I can assure him I would be very happy to see a result arrive sooner rather than later.

Mr Speaker, I think it is important to put on record that the amendments to the Coroners Act are designed to bring the ACT into line with amendments made to legislation in every other State and Territory in Australia, and designed to provide for rights to be conferred on ACT citizens who are affected by the result of a coronial inquiry or inquest. The genesis of these provisions was a letter written to me by a woman earlier this year whose husband had died and whose husband's death was subject to an inquest. She expressed concern about the outcome of that inquest and wished to have the proceedings re-opened by a higher court.

It transpired, when I examined the matter, that she had no power as the widow of the man who had died to be able to initiate on her own part a review of that inquest. It transpired that only I, as Attorney-General, had the power to re-open that inquest, or indeed any other inquest or coronial inquiry that took place in the ACT. Mr Speaker, that seems to me to be quite bizarre. First of all, it does not accord with the practices in other States and Territories.

Mr Stanhope: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I wonder, just for my information, whether or not the Attorney can table the transcript of me saying these things.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Stanhope.

Mr Stanhope: Well, could he confirm that I actually said these words.

MR SPEAKER: Sit down. There is no point of order.

Mr Stanhope: Or could he confirm that perhaps a journalist may have said them.

MR SPEAKER: Sit down. There is no point of order.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have not quoted Mr Stanhope at all, so what can I table? I have nothing at all to table.

Mr Stanhope: Words have been attributed to me.

MR HUMPHRIES: By Mr Hird, not by me.

Mr Stanhope: Oh, right. By Mr Hird.

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