Page 3571 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009
MR STANHOPE: No, I am not going to go off and demand to know, of individual public servants, who said what to an independent inquirer in relation to a strategic review of the department. So the reference, of course, to a political role was a reference to a politician. Of course, the politician most involved in the management of TAMS at the time was the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services.
It would be a matter of grave concern if a minister did not involve himself—in other words, if a minister did not interfere from time to time. But, of course, it should not be in a way or in a sense that interferes with the capacity of a public servant, consistent with their responsibilities, to fulfil their responsibilities. And it is as simple as that. I involve myself always in the detail of the administration of departments for which I am responsible. I see it as part and parcel of my role. It is what I do, and it is what I will continue to do.
MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Minister, the government’s most recent survey on attitudes of the public towards consumer fireworks revealed that 98 per cent of respondents did not contact any authority about any concerns they may have had about consumer fireworks over the 2008 June long weekend. Minister, what conclusion did you draw from this survey result?
MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. One of the things that I did glean from quite a number of emails and calls to my office—
Mrs Dunne: Relevance, Mr Speaker. I did not ask about emails. I asked specifically about the government’s survey.
MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, there is no point of order. I think Mr Hargeaves can work this into the answer. I am sure he will come to your question.
MR HARGREAVES: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. When you get such a loaded question, context might be of some assistance to the rest of the people in the Assembly. One of the things that I did glean from the emails, the phone calls—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR HARGREAVES: I will start again if you like. I am very happy to start again.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, do not take advantage of my good nature.
MR HARGREAVES: One of the things that I did glean from the emails and phone calls to my office and from people who spoke to me in the street was the fact that people had given up reporting it to various authorities, whether it be the Office of Regulatory Services or whether it be the police. They had actually said, “We understand when fireworks go off and the letterbox has exploded and pieces of shrapnel have gone through the door and into the piano,” 30 centimetres from the person’s leg, “by the time the authorities arrive, the perpetrators are long gone.” This was a very strong theme.