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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3071 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Stefaniak, you have been grievously misleading, too, in relation to the Supreme Court. You have been mischievous and you know it. I have always said this, and I have not changed my opinion. I have always accepted that the old Supreme Court looks a bit weary, but you know it works. It does not work well, but it works. We do not have a prison, but at least we have a Supreme Court, and it sort of works. We get by. It is not desirable, and we do need a new Supreme Court. But we do have one; and it sort of works.

It is not as great as you would want, it has a whole set of deficiencies and there is no doubt that it needs to be upgraded. I have said that it is on the list with lots of other things. It is on the list with a new paediatric ward at the Canberra Hospital; there are a whole stack of things on the list.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: the Chief Minister asserts that there is $50 million for the remand centre in this year's budget. Would he like to tell the Assembly what page that appears on?

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat. That is not a point of order. It is just frivolous, Mr Smyth, and you know it.

MR STANHOPE: I just wanted to make those points-about the need for a reality check along the way of what the Liberals did over seven years in government, about the breast beating they are doing now about all the things they were gunna do but never got around to doing, about the berating that goes on in terms of their paltry record and about all the issues they left us.

Mr Quinlan has made the case categorically about the mess you left us over the remand centre, the mess you left us to pick up. And we will do it; we accept the obligation. We have caught the hospital pass you sent us, Bill. You know it was a hospital pass. It was hard, mate, but we caught it, we grasped it, we clasped it and we will deal with it.

I am pleased with some of the acknowledgment from Ms Tucker of the good things in this line of the budget in relation to some aspects of the administration of justice.

Ms Dundas continually raises the issue of the DPP's budget, and that probably deserves a response. The DPP does need to be funded; the DPP does need to do his job; the DPP does need to prosecute criminals; the DPP does need to be able to fulfil his functions-for instance, in relation to the Eastman trial. Much of the additional funding for the DPP is wholly and solely a response to the enormous cost to this jurisdiction of the various Eastman actions.

There is nothing we can do about it. The fair administration of justice to the community requires that we have a DPP that is appropriately funded to pursue his responsibilities. There is nothing we can do about it. To imagine that a government that appropriately funds a Director of Public Prosecutions is in some way pursuing an inherent or subliminal law-and-order push is incredibly naive.

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