Page 3614 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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report from the public accounts committee, the committee concluded that you and your fellow shareholder, the Chief Minister, failed to exercise your responsibilities under the Territory-owned Corporations Act. Deputy Chief Minister, why did you and Mr Stanhope fail to issue a direction to the board of Rhodium, in accordance with section 17 of the act, formally requesting the board to take action that was not in the best commercial interests of the corporation?

MS GALLAGHER: As both the Chief Minister and I indicated last week a number of times in this place and publicly, we believe that the report on Rhodium from the public accounts committee was wrong. We have no qualms about making that statement. We have taken interim legal advice. We are taking further advice. The government will respond to that report, but I can tell you that I feel much more comfortable about taking advice about what I should and should not have done as a shareholder from the ACT Government Solicitor, and I would always take their advice before I took or accepted anything that came out of Mrs Burke’s mouth.


MRS DUNNE: My question is to the minister for education and relates to the struggle that the Flynn primary school P&C association is having in relation to challenging the closure of their school. The government has demanded a $50,000 surety from the P&C association and has blocked access to documents through discovery in the Supreme Court matter. The government seems to be trying to make it too expensive for the Flynn P&C association to pursue the matter through the Supreme Court. Minister, are not the actions of you and your legal representatives against the model litigant guidelines of the ACT?

MR BARR: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. As members would be aware, the Flynn primary school P&C association has taken action against the government in the Supreme Court over the closure of the school. This matter is still before the court. The P&C has not sought any orders to reopen the school prior to the hearing. The Flynn P&C agreed to provide security costs of $50,000, payable by 23 July 2007, and this amount has been paid.

The matter is before the court and has been the subject of a number of directions hearings since November 2007. The Flynn P&C, I am advised, has informally requested the discovery of certain documents. The department has objected to the discovery of some and agreed to the production of others. The Flynn P&C has inspected documents provided. The matter is listed for further directions hearings. I understand that one was listed for 4 August and the Flynn P&C sought to postpone it, as they have done, I understand, on at least half a dozen occasions. At this point, the department will continue to engage in that process, as it has to date.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will the department or the government be seeking any further costs by way of surety from the parents of the former Flynn primary school?

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