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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 395 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

expert in the delivery of disability services in Australia and is acknowledged to be so by Justice Gallop. I am accepting his recommendation. I have engaged her-despite the opposition of the Liberal Party, proposed through a question from Mrs Dunne yesterday, who for some reason seemed opposed to my engagement of Ms Cross.

I have established the Disability Task Group and have tasked them with responsibility for developing a concerted and detailed response to all of the Gallop report. That is what I have asked this group of people to do. The thrust of the questions the Liberal Party is asking really does undermine the authority and the integrity of the disability reform group-11 significant, senior, respected members of the disability sector in the ACT, each of whom has willingly entered into partnership with the government to ensure that we take everything that is appropriate to take from the Gallop report and that we implement that in the ACT to ensure that we do get the best service delivery for people with a disability. It is a pity that you are undermining the integrity of that group of people in this way. You seem not to respect Ms Cross, and you seem not to respect the new Office of Disability that I have created to take these issues forward.

Mrs Cross: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: can I just get an answer?

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Cross will resume her seat. I think the Chief Minister has finished.

MRS CROSS: I have a supplementary question. Mr Stanhope, will the consultants in the disability reform group have the scope to revisit the Gallop recommendations relating to staff issues, or will they be barred from examining those first four recommendations? Will you now table the terms of reference to the consultants and the disability reform group?

MR STANHOPE: The terms of reference for both the consultants and the disability reform group have been issued publicly. They were attached to my press releases in relation to these matters. They are out there. It is a pity that everybody in Canberra has seen them except for the Liberal Party. I am more than happy to table them and more than happy to provide them directly to you. But they have been publicly distributed and distributed widely. It is a real pity that you have not bothered until now to get hold of them.

The terms of reference are untrammelled. They are not circumscribed in any way. My attitude to the disability reform group and to the Office of Disability is one of complete openness. I expect this community to look rigorously at every aspect and every page of the Gallop report and have every expectation that, with the framework that I have put in place, with the employment of Ms Cross and with the engagement of 11 senior, experienced and respected members of the disability community, the response I get will be rigorous and will go to every aspect of the Gallop report which those people choose to go to. I cannot see why they would not give me advice on every single aspect of the report.

Mrs Cross: Mr Speaker, I am sorry to keep doing this, but I just want a simple answer to my question. I would expect someone who has been here for so long to understand how to answer one. Give me an answer to my question, will you?

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