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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2387 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

a PCYC there. I think that that is a terrific idea. But when the youth at risk program was awarded to the PCYC for $450,000 over two years, there was no tender process for it, absolutely none. That was admitted in the Estimates Committee process. The reason given was that it is a pilot program and it is going to pick up something that happened in Tasmania which was a great idea. Even though it was a pilot program, it was for $450,000. We all know that anything over $50,000 ought to go to tender.

I have every confidence that the people who would be most able to provide this service are the very same people who have another arm of their organisation doing it in Tasmania. I have no quarrel with that at all. But the process has to be seen to be clean as well as being clean. Why couldn't the YWCA, for example, be given an opportunity to have a go at it? Why couldn't the YMCA be given a go at it? Why not let the Woden Youth Centre have a go at it? Why not let the Belconnen Community Service have a go at it? Why not let the Lanyon Youth Centre have a go at it? There are 1,001 reasons, but all of those organisations are entitled to put their dibs in?

Under the purchasing guidelines, they are entitled to put their dibs in, and the Auditor-General was critical of this government for not adhering to purchasing guidelines. Here we have another example. The sad part about it is that the general public is going to be critical of the program because of its process, not because of its outcome. I have involved the police and the PCYC in the development of the Lanyon Youth Centre. I would have to say that it has been a raging success. It is now crying out for resources because it does not have enough resources to cope with the demand.

I want to put on the record my congratulations to Minister Stefaniak for his assistance with it. If you do not mind, Minister, I will tell you that I told you that it would be successful. I said that it would address things before they happened, and it is doing just that. I just hope sincerely that the process error will not get in the way of the PCYC doing it. I would like the government to investigate some way of redressing that process so that these guys can get on with doing the job that they are very well qualified to do and brilliant at doing without tainting the process, because I think they need our support. I have about 40 seconds of speaking time left, Mr Speaker, and I will donate it to the next speaker.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (8.21): Mr Speaker, I want to comment on a couple of issues which were the focus of the Estimates Committee report and which I think it is relevant that we include in a discussion of the appropriateness of this Appropriation Bill. I would like to reflect on the government's position in relation to the changes that were made to the criminal injuries compensation law. As the Estimates Committee has reported, the Supreme Court has ruled in a way that many of us in this place fully expected that it would and predicted at the time of the debate in relation to this legislation that it would. The retrospectivity provision rammed through this place by the government and members of its coalition has been found by the Supreme Court to be unlawful, ultra vires. That, for those of us that predicted it, was not any surprise at all. The people who had been disadvantaged as a result of the retrospective provision most certainly had a legal and forcible property right.

Anybody with a rudimentary understanding of constitutional law would understand that you cannot remove a property right without just terms being provided-in other words, compensation-and I assume that that was the basis of the Supreme Court's ruling in

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