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Thursday, 11 February 2010
Page: 1198


Mr HUNT (2:10 PM) —My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. I refer the minister to the March 2009 National Electrical and Communications Association letter to him, the department’s response and his statement yesterday in question time that NECA were told in April last year that they would be ‘added to the stakeholder register as an organisation that could provide advice, consultation and information and, subsequent to that, they have participated in the consultation roundtables that I continue to hold’. Can the minister confirm that, in spite of his assurances in the House yesterday, NECA had no contact with the minister or the minister’s department until November, when NECA themselves contacted the minister’s department to find out why they had been excluded from the consultation process?


Mr GARRETT (Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts) —I thank the honourable member for his question. In relation to the series of negotiations and consultations that were undertaken by this department, my requirement was that the department was mindful of all relevant issues in relation to the delivery of the home installation program, including issues that related to electrical safety and that the views of organisations in relation to those matters ought to be taken into account as we continued to develop our training program. And that is what we did.