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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3375 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

were about one or so weeks late. It might have been two weeks, Mr Berry. I think some did it in the third term. As far as I can tell though, Mr Berry, priority is given to it, and I think that is essential in terms of the importance of the Year 12 Certificate. Improvements have now occurred.

I suppose it is impossible with anything technical to give a 100 per cent cast iron guarantee that nothing will go wrong. I think all that reasonably could be expected to be done has been done. I understand that took place some time ago and I certainly hope we will not see any more problems. It is absolutely essential that the crucial Year 12 systems are up-to-date and running effectively for that cohort of students.

MR BERRY: I have a supplementary question. Minister, will you give this Assembly an assurance that the MAZE system is adequately staffed to the extent that there are adequate backup staff to manage and control the system in order to prevent any failure in relation to the production of Year 12 Certificates this year?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, it is impossible, I think, to guarantee anything absolutely 100 per cent in case something goes wrong. Murphy's law says that if you do that something may happen which you would never expect or realistically would be able to expect. So I put that proviso there. As far as I am aware, Mr Berry, everything that the department could reasonably do in terms of getting that system up and running properly has been done. Everyone in the department realises the importance of having a system that will do what is required for our Year 12 students.

Tyre Deflation Devices

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, I apologise for arriving late for question time.

MR SPEAKER: That is all right. I wish a few others were, Mr Rugendyke, from time to time.

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to Mr Humphries, the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. Minister, I understand that earlier this year the Government purchased a number of tyre deflation devices, otherwise known as road spikes, for the Australian Federal Police. I am told that the cost of these devices was more than $20,000. I understand that this decision was taken on advice in order to provide police with another avenue to stop high speed chases in our streets. I am also told that the devices were purchased and delivered to the AFP in July this year, about four months ago. Minister, is it true that the road spikes are sitting at the Weston complex and are not deployed to patrols? Why has there been no training of officers in the use of these devices?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Rugendyke for that question. Yes, it is true that the devices have been available since about the time of year that he mentioned and that they have not yet been deployed. That matter came to my attention a couple of weeks ago and I have to make it quite clear to the house that I was quite angry about the fact that that was the case. I think it was inconsistent with commitments the Government had given to use the devices.

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