Page 3161 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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professional development, has dropped the ball. We need to lift our game across the board. This government is happy to work with industry—not for industry—and will continue to work with industry to address the skills shortages.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Ms Clea Rose

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I refer to yesterday’s question time. Mr Smyth asked:

My question is directed to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, now that a young woman has died as a result of injuries she sustained in the recent hit-and-run accident in Civic, will there be a coronial investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death?

I provide the following information for members. I have sought further advice from the department and can inform the Assembly that, under the provisions of the Coroners Act 1997, the coroner will not proceed with an inquiry, or consider proceeding with an inquiry, until criminal proceedings have been dealt with. The decision as to whether a formal inquiry will be undertaken following the criminal charges is a matter for the coroner.

Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2005 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 29 June 2005, on motion by Mr Berry:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.32): This bill rightly identifies the appropriateness of the need to change the process of appointment for the Clerk of the Assembly. The Clerk of the Assembly is an important role in the ACT body politic. In particular, the role of the Clerk of the Assembly is to serve the interests of the Assembly, principally through the presiding officer, the Speaker but, more broadly, to all members.

We all acknowledge and recognise the importance of separating the role of the legislature from the executive and, to date, the appointment of the Clerk of the Assembly has been an unusual circumstance, because it has been the role of the executive to appoint the Clerk, or an element of the executive to appoint the Clerk. It is important that we draw the distinction not just in practice and convention but also in law to ensure that the appointment of the Clerk of the Assembly is made by the Assembly itself.

This bill recognises that it will be the role of the presiding officer, the Speaker, to appoint the Clerk rather than an officer of the executive or on behalf of the executive. This change is, I think, an important symbolic change. It recognises a growing maturity in this place that the Clerk, and the officers of the Assembly more broadly, are distinct elements from the broader territory administration. This change to the Public Sector Management Act recognises that growing maturity, and obviously the government will be supporting this bill.

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