Page 2541 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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MR STANHOPE: As I said, I am aware of the issue. I am also acutely aware of the resourcing implications of the Department of Justice and Community Safety being required to provide a statement of reasons in relation to every compatibility statement, acknowledging and noting that there is a compatibility statement required in relation to every single piece of legislation that is tabled in the Assembly.

At this stage, bearing in mind the environment we find ourselves in and the level of resourcing that I have applied to the human rights section in the Department of Justice and Community Safety, I am not prepared to request of them that they prepare a statement of reasons in relation to every compatibility statement. In the vast majority of cases they are unnecessary. The matter is self-evident.

As I said, we have today created a precedent in that the Minister for Health has today tabled for the first time with a compatibility statement a statement of reasons. This was done because of the significance of that particular piece of legislation and the extent to which it does raise significant issues for debate, discussion and consideration about the human rights issues or implications of the application of ECT in certain circumstances, which are outlined in the bill, namely circumstances where a person is unable to make a decision for themselves about whether or not ECT should be applied.


MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, yesterday in question time you were asked about ACTPLA and its response to a freedom of information request in which Mr Savery has stated that “the authority made no comment on the direction therefore no documents exist”. In reply, you stated that you had received comments during a verbal discussion with the chief planning executive in which you sought his view on your proposed direction. On what date did you hold the discussions with Mr Savery, who else was present and where was the meeting held? What records were kept of this meeting or discussion and why is it that Mr Savery, when responding to a freedom of information request in May, could not remember having this discussion?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I will take some of the elements of that question on notice. I will need to check my own records and those of my office. I can advise Mr Seselja now that the discussion with Mr Savery occurred in my office. I think a number of members of my staff were present but I will check the records and advise Mr Seselja accordingly.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, given that Mr Savery says that no comments were made, whom are we to believe?

MR CORBELL: Well, Mr Speaker, the imputation is that he does not believe me, and that, I guess, is to be expected from Mr Seselja and the opposition. But I can only stand by what I have said in this place. I am extremely confident that my position is accurate. In relation to the comments from the ACT Planning and Land Authority, that question is best directed to them. However, I stress that I did seek the views of the chief planning

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