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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 260 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

thirdly, the circumstances surrounding the processes followed to determine the successful contractor, including assessment of necessary expertise to undertake the contract;

fourthly, the circumstances surrounding and the process followed in the development of the implosion contract, including, amongst other things, whether the contract took into account applicable Australian standards and assurances relating to safety of the proposed implosion;

fifthly, the circumstances relating to and the appropriateness of the decision to invite spectators to view the implosion and, in particular, any safety issues considered and any advice given to government; and

finally, any other related matters.

The Smethurst inquiry was never reconvened. In fact, following the handing down of the coroner's report on 4 November 1999, Major General Smethurst wrote to the former Chief Minister advising her that he believed that the inquiry should not proceed on the basis that the coroner had properly and fully addressed all matters that had originally been put to the inquiry.

Specifically in his letter of 18 November 1999, Major General Smethurst says:

I have examined the (Coroner's) report and have formed the view that as the Coronial Inquest would seem to have effectively covered the issues on which I was required to inquire and report, there would appear to be no justification or purpose in my Board of Inquiry continuing.

At page 23 of his report, the coroner stated-and I think this has been referred to before:

It is out of extreme caution that a wide ranging inquiry was undertaken to ensure that no issue was missed and therefore it seems to me on review that there is no necessity now to reconvene the Smethurst Inquiry or any other inquiry.

Major General Smethurst went on to clarify that under the terms of the Inquiries Act the appropriate means for terminating the inquiry under the circumstances was for him to tender his resignation, and he did so in that letter. The former Chief Minister acknowledged this, accepting the Major General's resignation in a response letter dated 10 December 1999. Accordingly, Mr Speaker, it is clear that the advice of both inquiry heads is that there is no need for any further inquiry on this matter.

I point out, however, that the government has not only acted on the findings of the coroner, with respect to those matters which it can, but has followed up its actions with a separate independent administrative review conducted by Tom Sherman AO. As members of the Assembly will remember, Mr Sherman conducted this review shortly after the coroner released his findings, and his report was tabled in the Assembly in February last year. Mr Sherman's report identified some 30 recommendations and other comments by the coroner which required follow-up action by the government. He found at that time that of these:

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