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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3220 ..

MR CORBELL: Maybe Mrs Dunne has been reading my correspondence. When the constituents originally contacted my office, they did not in the first instance, I am advised, seek a meeting with me. My office arranged for them to meet with officers of PALM, which they did on a number of occasions. They also met with my advisers on at least one occasion to discuss the issue. They were unsatisfied with the responses they had received, and they sought to meet with me. I initially agreed to that meeting. However, I reviewed the circumstances in which they wanted to meet with me. It became clear to me that my meeting with them would in no way change the circumstances they faced.

The bottom line is that the government cannot assist this couple. They are adamant that we can. We have explored every possible avenue to try to address their concerns. It is not possible to address their concerns to the extent that they wish to have them addressed. I am sure that previous ministers have encountered similar circumstances.

Mrs Dunne: And you tell them to their face.

Mr Stanhope: Like you told Helen Cross to her face? You mean like that? You can talk about telling people things to their face after what you did to her. Gutless mob.

Mr Cornwell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I cannot hear the minister's excuses because I am listening to the Chief Minister's excuses.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Cornwell, you would be one amongst the opposition who has been concerned about others making a noise and preventing ministers from answering their questions. If others could follow your example, it would be a lot easier.

MR CORBELL: In those circumstances, I felt that a further meeting would not assist them to get the settlement they wished, because it is simply not within the ambit of government to provide the relief they were seeking. That was communicated to them.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, have you played Pontius Pilate on this issue and just washed your hands of it, and why will you not help the constituents?

MR CORBELL: I have already answered that question.

Unborn children

MR PRATT: My question is to the Attorney-General. Mr Stanhope, I draw your attention to the front page of the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun today, which outlines the case of a young pregnant women. She and her partner were victims of a hit-and-run road rage driver. She was seven months pregnant at the time. She lost her unborn child as a direct result of this incident. Attorney, does the ACT have any legislation which protects an unborn child? Is there any legislation in the ACT which would allow a charge of manslaughter or murder where a deliberate or reckless act causes the death of an unborn child?

MR SPEAKER: I think you might be asking for a legal opinion.

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