Page 4735 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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of freedom of speech as one of the fundamental rights which we need and should protect through a bill of rights, the Archbishop of Melbourne withdrew my capacity to continue with an invitation that I had received from his church in Melbourne to speak on the very same subject as Father Brennan had spoken about so passionately here. I regret that. I will say no more than that I understand the embarrassment of the archbishop and of the church in Melbourne. I think that they must be deeply embarrassed by their behaviour.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister’s time has expired.


DR FOSKEY: My question is also to the Chief Minister and it relates to the use of global reporting initiative guidelines in annual reporting procedures. During the annual reports hearings of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on 30 November, you commented that you had taken the Auditor-General’s criticisms to heart and issued an unambiguous direction to every ACT government agency head that they comply with the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s report on sustainability reporting. You also directed other agencies to look at ActewAGL’s sustainability reporting practices for guidance. ActewAGL used the global reporting initiative’s indicators for their sustainability report. Given that the Auditor-General has applauded Actew’s use of the GRI guidelines and has particularly recommended the use of GRI guidelines for ACT agencies in her July report—that is, her third report for the year reporting on ESD—will you require ACT agencies to use GRI indicators for their 2005-06 annual reports?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Dr Foskey for her question. Dr Foskey, I have on my desk a proposed detailed government response to the Auditor-General’s report on sustainability reporting, which I have not yet digested. To give the question you asked the justice it deserves, I would welcome an opportunity to review that response. I am happy in that context to take your question on notice. I think it will be answered in detail in the government’s response to the Auditor-General’s report, but I will take the question on notice.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Could the Attorney-General please provide the advice provided by the Office of Sustainability regarding directions to agencies from the Chief Minister’s Department referred to by Mr Ottesen during the public accounts committee’s annual reports hearing on 30 November?

MR STANHOPE: I cannot imagine why I could not, but I will take advice before answering directly. I will take advice on the question and hopefully respond to you by close of business today.

Disability services—transport

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, why has a decision been made to withdraw transport to group homes for people with a disability in the ACT?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Burke for the question. I do not have the level of detail on that about my person, to be quite frank. Like the Chief Minister, I will take the

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