Page 160 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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MR CORBELL: The OECD report—a report whose instigation and finalisation spanned two governments, the previous Liberal government and the first Stanhope government—highlighted very carefully and very prominently that we have as a city an extremely valuable range of assets, but what fails to bring them together and give them coherent mass and give them energy is the lack of a coherent city centre. What the Griffin legacy work does, along with the city west master plan, the spatial plan and the economic white paper, is to identify the opportunities to bring the city to life.

An interesting proposal in the Griffin legacy document, which was first mirrored in the ACT government’s city west master plan, is the one for a land bridge over Parkes Way towards East Basin as well as towards Commonwealth Park. That land bridge would unlock enormous development potential to bring activity close to the lake. Our city needs a lakefront address and the Griffin legacy project has confirmed that the work undertaken by the government through the city west master plan is valid and the right way to go. We will work very closely in helping to achieve that vision.

Disability services

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, I note that, in your response to the matter of public importance raised yesterday, you said that the government had been informed by and adopted many of the positions of the disability reform legislative working group in relation to the disability commissioner.

I understand that, in addition to the positions of the group listed by the minister as having been adopted by the government, the working group made a number of other recommendations, which include giving the disability commissioner the following functions: one, to review the causes and pattern of complaints and identify ways in which those causes could be removed or minimised; and, two, to review the situation of a person or persons with a disability. Will the minister advise the Assembly whether these recommendations have been accepted by the government and will be included among the functions of the new disability commissioner when established?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Dr Foskey for her question and her interest. No, I am not going to give you an undertaking that that will be the case, Dr Foskey. However, I will give you an undertaking to assure you that the government’s introduction of a disability commissioner is all about advocacy and advising the government on how to do things better for people with a disability and how to have an independent view on it. We have to take the role of the disability commissioner in the context of services provided by the Department of Disability—

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. Could we ask the minister to address the chair, in accordance with the standing orders?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Dunne for wasting probably 25 seconds of Dr Foskey’s answer. Good on you; well done; you are a champ; you are going to go a long way in this game. The significance of the commissioner is about the independence of this commissioner in the advocacy role. It is independent of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services and it is independent of the other advocacy

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