Page 2635 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Attorney, can you please advise the Assembly about a large payment that was recently made to the Catholic Education Office under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act?

MR CORBELL: On 26 March Mr Timothy Patrick Cousins was sentenced in the Supreme Court for “obtaining property by deception”. Mr Cousins illegally obtained funds from the Catholic Education Office, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, who was his employer at the time. He was sentenced to 6½ years in prison with a non-parole period of four years. On the same day the court made orders that Mr Cousins pay reparations in the amount of $1,190,000 to the Catholic Education Office.

The Supreme Court subsequently made an order in May last year which forfeited Mr Cousins’ Calwell property to the territory under section 59 of the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act. This order was made on the basis that the property had been restrained under the act because the property was derived by Mr Cousins from the commission of the offence that he was convicted of. Once the property was sold, the Public Trustee for the ACT held the net proceeds of the sale of this property.

The Public Trustee also received funds from a Community CPS Australia bank account in Mr Cousins’ name which had also been forfeited to the territory. The total proceeds from the sale of the Calwell property and the CPS bank account was $198,000 after the Public Trustee’s expenses. On 15 May, therefore, I decided that the amount available for distribution from the confiscated assets trust fund for the financial year was $303,000. From this, $198,960 was distributed to the Catholic Education Office in relation to the matter of Mr Cousins.

This is a very important element of restoration for the victim—in this case the Catholic Education Office, who was the victim of a serious criminal offence, a serious fraud, and I am pleased that the fund has been able to be used for these purposes.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Hospitals—emergency departments

MR HANSON (Molonglo-Leader of the Opposition) (3.39): I move:

(1) That the Assembly notes that:

(a) a review of the Nurse led Walk-in Centre (WIC) at The Canberra Hospital found that the evidence used in planning the WIC was ignored, used selectively and misinterpreted by ACT Health;

(b) the 2009 ACT Health Emergency Department Strategic Plan advised that the WIC was “not expected to provide any improvement in performance”, was “likely to create demand” and “should not be regarded as a strategy that will contribute to ED performance”;

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