Page 5099 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 17 November 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: Better off on our operating impact over 20 years. That is the savings. I do not think anyone understands—and Mr Seselja has a little smirk there—that every single option costs money. The base case—

Mr Hanson: Just $160 million more.

MS GALLAGHER: Just a moment, Mr Hanson. You have asked a supplementary. The base case costs $374 million; the buy case costs $229 million; and the build a third hospital is $293 million, because it is a little bit more and it is the worst outcome. On the operating impact, we are $145 million better off if we buy the hospital. So that is savings. On our balance sheet, yes, it has a similar impact, in the assets that we have returned to the territory. Yes, we get an asset. Under the current arrangements, we do not have an asset; it does not sit on our balance sheet. But from a cash point of view, yes, it costs, because we have to buy something back that we do not currently own.

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

Chief Magistrate

Statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services), by leave: I would like to advise members that earlier today I received a letter from the Chief Magistrate, Mr Ron Cahill, voluntarily tendering his resignation, effective immediately. I have acknowledged receipt of this letter, accepting it on behalf of the government.

As a result of Mr Cahill’s decision, the processes of the judicial commission, which I announced last week, will cease, as the act requires that it is contingent on a judicial officer being in office. Now that Mr Cahill has resigned from office, the provisions of the Judicial Commissions Act cannot apply. Therefore, I will be recommending to the executive this afternoon that it end the appointment of the commissioners, as the commission can no longer operate.

I had foreshadowed when announcing the commission last week that the government may seek amendments to extend the judicial commission’s operation if it had not finalised its report before Mr Cahill’s term expired on 15 December 2009. The government will not be seeking any amendments to the act, as the circumstances regarding Mr Cahill’s position have now changed.

The commission has no legal basis to continue because Mr Cahill is no longer in office. Additionally, the commission had not commenced its hearings at the time of his resignation. As the act no longer applies, it would most likely not be legally possible to retrospectively amend the act in circumstances where the judicial officer has resigned prior to the commencement of the commission’s hearings.

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