Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 998 ..
MR SPEAKER (continuing):
Counsel was given leave to appear as amicus curiae-friends of the court-and the matter was addressed in the court on Tuesday. His Honour Justice Crispin ruled on the matter yesterday. His Honour concluded that, whilst it was possible that the copy of the report of the board of inquiry tendered in the court was produced for the purposes of or incidental to the transaction of business of the Assembly, there was no evidence to that effect. In the opinion of His Honour, privilege had not been established. For the information of members, I table a copy of Justice Crispin's reasons for the ruling.
The ruling, members, is one that I welcome. I believe that the guidance that it provides, together with the arguments advanced in the proceedings of the court on the matter, will be more than useful for the Assembly and its committees in the future.
It may now be timely to review any legislative provisions that we have put in place in the territory where the protection of the privileges and immunities of the Assembly is provided to documents that have been created for purposes that are not strictly related to the conduct of the business of the Assembly and its committees. In addition, the Assembly and its committees may also need to consider the tabling and receipt into evidence of documents that have a life independent of the proceedings of the Assembly. Two pieces of legislation that have been identified as requiring scrutiny are the Inquiries Act 1991 and the Auditor-General Act 1996, and there may be others.
I am proposing to write to the presiding members of Assembly committees this week to invite them to participate in a meeting of presiding members, and issues that arise out of this ruling will be one of the matters that I propose will be considered.
Statement by chair
MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement regarding a new inquiry.
MS TUCKER: At its meeting on 21 March 2002, the Standing Committee on Health resolved to conduct an inquiry into the health of school-age children. The terms of reference are as follows:
Inquire into and report on the health of school-age children in the ACT with particular regard to:
. identifying current health status and emerging health issues;
. the relationship between social, emotional and physical health;
. mental health and body image, including gender influences and eating disorders;
. family, cultural and socio-economic influences;
. physical activity, diet and environment;
. current practice in schools to foster a culture of health and well-being;
. the role of government and non-government organisations in providing support;
. appropriate models for service delivery; and
. any related matter.