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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1003 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

My office is having urgent discussions with the HIA and the MBA on this matter. I have arranged for a roundtable meeting of all industry representatives next Monday to further develop interim strategies to ensure that the residential construction industry can continue its normal work and that consumers are properly protected in both the short and longer terms.

I have also written to the federal minister responsible for small business, Mr Joe Hockey, urging that there be a cooperative national approach to this critical issue, which is an issue that goes beyond the ACT's borders, having a significant impact on both the Victorian and New South Wales residential building markets.

I would like to place on the record my appreciation of the assistance of both the Master Builders Association and the Housing Industry Association in working with the government to speedily address these issues. I will be continuing to work with the local building industry to facilitate the provision of an appropriate response to this critical situation and I will endeavour to keep members informed on that.

MS MacDONALD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. How will that assist the building industry in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: The key issue is that the regulation I have indicated under section 66 of the Building Act will be an interim measure. It will allow speculative builders to continue with commencements. Of course, speculative builders are a significant part of the local residential building industry. The key issue that we will need to address is that of approval so that insurance is in place and homes can be occupied. That is a longer term solution that will need to be worked through. I will be working with officers of PALM and the industry to seek the appropriate response and consider appropriate legislative requirements, if required.

Condom vending machines

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services. Is the minister aware that condom vending machines exist in toilets for both males and females in Tasmanian secondary schools and have for several years? Minister, do you have any thoughts on introducing condoms into ACT schools and colleges?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware of the status of condom vending machines in schools in Tasmania. The second part of the question really asked me for an opinion. I do not know whether that is in order or not, but I am certainly happy to take the question on notice and provide some further information to Ms Dundas on the policy of providing condom vending machines in secondary schools.

MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, if the minister is taking the question on notice, I would express concern that he does not have an opinion about it. I also have a supplementary question: will the minister embark on a harm minimisation approach to sex education such as a trial of condom machines in schools?

MR SPEAKER: Under the standing orders, you are not entitled to ask him for an opinion.

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