Page 3239 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005

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Ministerial arrangements

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs): For the information of members, my colleague the Minister for Urban Services, Mr John Hargreaves, is on business elsewhere today. He is unable to be in question time. I will take questions that members may wish to direct to his portfolio responsibilities.


MR SPEAKER: Before we get on with question time, I welcome 75 Canberra Girls’ Grammar School students from year 10.

Questions without notice


MR SMYTH: My question is directed to the Chief Minister in his acting capacity as the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Yesterday in question time, Mr Hargreaves was asked about an assault on a university student in Civic in the early hours of Saturday morning. In particular, he was asked why his spokeswoman had said:

… I urge everyone to take responsibility for their own actions …

In reply he said:

There are facts about this case that, in the interests of the privacy of that particular victim, shall not be made public.

The implication is that these facts somehow contributed to the student being assaulted. The parents of the student who was assaulted have reaffirmed that their son was acting in a responsible manner prior to the assault, was in a well-lit area and that, despite these precautions, he was attacked.

Chief Minister, what did this student do wrong? What facts are there that demonstrate that there was more he could do to protect himself?

MR STANHOPE: I have received a brief today as the minister who would take questions on behalf of the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. The specific issues that the Leader of the Opposition raises in his question are not dealt with in the brief; they have not been drawn to my attention.

What I can advise members, consistent with what I have been advised today, is that police are investigating a serious assault that occurred in Akuna Street on 20 August in which a 22-year-old man received a serious head injury. I am advised that he is now in a stable condition in Canberra Hospital. Police are investigating the assault and any possible linkage between the assault and any other assault that may have occurred in the city area in recent times.

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