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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 994..


MR SPEAKER: Thank you. The matter will be investigated in relation to the report and I will report back to the Assembly.

Mr Humphries: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

PLANNING AND URBAN SERVICES - STANDING COMMITTEE

Report on Draft 2000-01 Budget

MR HIRD (5.33): Mr Speaker, pursuant to order, I present the following report:

Planning and Urban Services - Standing Committee - Report No. 43 - The draft 2000-01 Budget for the Department of Urban Services [DUS], dated 23 March 2000, together with a copy of the extracts of the minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I am pleased to say that this is a unanimous report. It is in a new style for the committee. The first part, the green pages, sets out the guts or the strong information in the report, the 15 recommendations and the rationale for them. This is followed by a summary of the whole inquiry in two sections. The first section spells out the way we conducted the inquiry, and the second section summarises the evidence we received, both written and oral. We think that this innovative layout facilitated the speed at which our secretary and the committee produced the report. It also draws immediate attention to what people want to see, namely, the recommendations and the reasons for them. The committee will be interested in any comments on this layout.

Turning to our recommendations, Mr Speaker, one of the first lessons we learnt, and I mentioned this this morning in respect of another report, is that it is imperative that the Minister and his departmental officers be given the final chance to address the committee prior to a report being put together. The draft budget is, after all, the responsibility of the Minister, and he or she must be given the opportunity to address any issues raised during the inquiry.

A number of recommendations are aimed at improving the clarity of the documentation. This is really important in the case of the Territory's budget. However, most of the recommendations are aimed at the draft budget itself. One recommendation picks up a constant theme of the committee in past years, and that is the need for an accurate, easily accessible land data system that is able to be used by anyone in the Territory. The committee feels very strongly about this issue.

Another recommendation refers to the usefulness of one submission in particular, namely, that from the National Parks Association. The careful detail in this submission is to be commended, Mr Speaker. Interestingly, the National Parks Association took


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