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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 640 ..

confirm that the government will continue to provide financial support to the tournament?

MR QUINLAN: I have to say that-

Mrs Dunne: A point of order, Mr Speaker. I wish to seek your guidance. Is this a request for an announcement of policy?

MR SPEAKER: I did not see it as that. Could you repeat your question, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: I certainly will, Mr Speaker. Can the Minister confirm that the government will continue to provide financial support to the tournament?

MR SPEAKER: It has been supported up to this point, so I would not have thought it is an announcement of executive policy.

MR QUINLAN: Certainly we want to sit down with Tennis Australia and talk about the Canberra Women's Classic. It started off with a couple of profile names being associated with it. Unfortunately, the big drawcard for the first year, Mary Pierce, lost in the first round. It then continued to the point where it was described as an emerging players tournament.

I think the tournament has been fortunate in as much as successive winners of that tournament have gone on to elevate themselves in world rankings. But if it is to receive substantial assistance then we would be expecting a world-class event. We would be expecting Tennis Australia to make an effort to bring drawcards here to Canberra. We would hope that amongst those drawcards there would be younger Australians so that the tournament itself will attract better crowds than has been the case. The crowds improved this year but there was still plenty of room in the grandstand in the finals.

Bushfires-submissions to inquiries

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Quinlan and it is in regard to the capacity of the firefighters to make submissions to the coronial or McLeod inquiries. Mr Quinlan, you may recall that, at a public accounts committee hearing, I did ask whether or not individual firefighters would be able to put their own submissions directly into the coronial process at the McLeod inquiry. Mr Tim Keady took the question and he said, and I quote, "It was the case that firefighters could put individual submissions."

I asked the question, "Can you confirm that the firefighters have been directed to not put in individual submissions to the Coronial process?"Mr Keady said,

No, and in fact-well unless something has occurred that I know nothing of, firstly I know nothing of the kind, secondly, I would regard it as being completely inappropriate for any such direction to be given.

I checked that he was also talking about the coronial process and not just the McLeod inquiry, and he said,

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