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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2024 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

They have a proposition to put to us. I am aware of that proposition, but I think it would be better if I talk to Mr Scully, and see what happens, before I make any announcement. As you would expect, all the usual planning requirements would have to be maintained so that the end result is a satisfactory road.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question, through you, to the Minister for Urban Services. Do you envisage that there will be any land resumption necessary to build the road?

MR WOOD: At this stage, I am not sure that there will be. However, at the same time as planning gets under way that could become necessary, as some bends might need to be rounded out, but we are not yet that far into the debate. We will be in a position to move forward and say something more definitive after I have seen Mr Scully to find out what he is able to do.

University of Canberra

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Chief Minister and it is with regard to the University of Canberra. Chief Minister, in 1995 and 1997, Hansard records the then Minister for Education, Bill Stefaniak, in introducing the University of Canberra transfer bills, as declaring that the University of Canberra would be accountable to the ACT government and community, and that it would enact whistleblower legislation, which would comply with ACT legislation, to ensure open and transparent governance.

Furthermore, the legal advice you tabled on 16 May clearly stated that the Public Interest Disclosure Act applies to the University of Canberra, the University of Canberra Council and the University of Canberra union board and staff.

As you would know, in the context of the well-canvassed allegations of fraudulent activity within the University of Canberra student union, the Canberra University Council has once again refused to accept that it is subject to the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

Will you, as Chief Minister, declare the university to be a territory instrumentality under subsection (2) of the Public Interest Disclosure Act, or otherwise act to ensure that the university complies with the objectives of public interest disclosure?

MR STANHOPE: Ms Tucker, I was not aware of the last bit of information you had. Indeed, the University of Canberra has formally advised that it does not accept the advice I tabled and which, as I indicated at the time, was being provided to the university with a view to them responding to it in light of the previous position they had taken.

I need to pursue the issue further. The department, and indeed Ms Tucker, has written to both the ACT Ombudsman and the Auditor General, just this week, asking them to take further action in relation to the dispute that exists, and the different interpretation in relation to whether or not the public interest disclosure provisions apply to the University of Canberra.

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