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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 261 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

(a) seven recommendations had been substantially implemented;

(b) 14 recommendations were well on the way towards implementation; and

(c) five recommendations required more work to achieve implementation.

The government has been active in following up on all unaddressed or incomplete issues identified by Mr Sherman and recently Mr Sherman was re-engaged to do a follow-up assessment of the government's progress in implementing the work he had identified. I understand that his report will soon be completed.

Finally, as the Chief Minister has said, there are matters before the court-the initial matters before the Supreme Court; the criminal matters that the DPP took some action on recently but are still to be finally completed. Of course, there are also the civil matters before the court in regard to procedures issued last year. Those are ongoing and, indeed, things may well come out of them before all the matters are finally dealt with. So there are a number of issues that are outstanding, this matter is still before the court and, indeed, Tom Sherman is still to report back in relation to the matters I mentioned.

MS TUCKER (4.00): The Greens are interested in the debate that is taking place today. We have not got a definite position at this point on whether we think there should be some other kind of inquiry. We obviously want justice for the Bender family and I think it is important that justice is seen to be done. This is something that we see often in regard to a tragedy such as the Lockerbie bombing, a crime or an injustice. There is a very strong human response and people want to see justice being done. Right now it appears that there are a lot of people in Canberra, particularly, as Mr Stanhope said, the immediate family of the child who was killed, who are not convinced that that is the case.

I agree with Mr Stanhope's condemnation of Mr Humphries' attempt to attribute some lower motivation. Certainly, I do not believe that this is the case. This is about working out what is the best way to ensure that people who have suffered as a result of this feel that justice has been done. People want steps to be taken to ensure that this will not happen again, and if that means that we have to have further investigation, I think that is worth supporting. There are definitely arguments for Mr Kaine or any other member of this place wanting to pursue the establishment of an inquiry to look at those matters which were not looked at-and I agree with Mr Stanhope that things have changed since the coronial report.

On the question of whether or not you can have concurrent inquiries, I have to say that I have had experience with the discussion related to the disability inquiry. I was closely involved with that debate and I had the opportunity to talk to legal practitioners around Australia about whether or not it is acceptable, possible or constructive to have concurrent inquiries of the kind that we would have had if the Smethurst inquiry had been taking place at the same time as the coronial investigation or the current criminal cases.

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