Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3434 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
If we get the register, it will go that mile further towards ensuring that each force knows where convicted child sex offenders are domiciled and when they have moved interstate. In most cases, one presumes that they have moved interstate either to escape their past or to have a fresh start at what they do, but it may be that they have changed their job. It is an unfortunate fact of modern life that we have to institute such registers, but it is being done and it will be done on a national basis. In the meantime, there will be an accurate exchange of intelligence between the forces.
MRS CROSS: I have a supplementary question. I thank you for that, Mr Quinlan. Are you giving us an undertaking that a paedophile register will be set up in the ACT, the same as the one for New South Wales, to protect children from sexual predators? Is that right? I just want confirmation of that.
MR QUINLAN: The states have agreed, in principle, to do it. Despite the heinous nature of the crime, there are still overlays of civil liberty and the process needs to protect the rights of everybody, but the rights of the children will be paramount.
Police Ministers Council
MRS DUNNE: My question is to Mr Quinlan in his capacity, by his own admission, as part-time police minister. Last week, the police ministers-
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Dunne! You will refer to the minister by his proper title.
MRS DUNNE: Okay. My question is to the police minister, Mr Quinlan. Last week, the police ministers discussed proposals to tighten gun control, which the vast majority of the community considers to be a very important issue. However, Mr Stanhope represented the interests of the ACT rather than you. Indeed, you have missed the past three police ministers conferences, by my count. Why have you not bothered to attend these meetings? Is that a general reflection of the relative importance of the police portfolio to the Labor government?
MR QUINLAN: We don't think it is important because we sent the Chief Minister instead of the Deputy Chief Minister! Firstly, let me just say-and I apologise to you, Mr Speaker, for responding to barbs-that, yes, I am the part-time police minister, I am the part-time Treasurer and I am the part-time minister for economic development. I am the part-time minister for lots of things, but I do devote my time to them.
The reason that I was not in Darwin at a police ministers council is that I went to Melbourne for a racing ministers conference. Let me tell you that it is really the white man's burden to have to go to Melbourne during the spring racing carnival. Unfortunately, because of pressures of business and my other part-time portfolios, I could not stay for the cup and I did not attend the cup.
However, you will recall that, because of moves within other states, the ACT racing industry is at risk; so, in order that we protect all of the sectors of the ACT and not just the one you happen to be thinking about right now, we thought that we would send someone to both, and we did. Mr Stanhope happens to be the Chief Minister and the Attorney-General, so I would rather think that that is a measure of just how important we thought and think these issues are.