Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 6 Hansard (24 May) . . Page.. 1660..
MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister will repeat it again for my benefit if you keep interjecting.
MR SMYTH: PALM has been achieving these efficiencies-
MR SPEAKER: Order! Would you mind repeating that all again, please, minister.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, PALM, consistent with other areas across the government, is charged with generally being more efficient and achieving cost savings. PALM has been achieving its budget targets by a combination of measures including systems and process reform, through training and development and a progressive reduction in staffing numbers across the organisation. It will continue to do that and meet its targets. Over the past 12 months, PALM has been achieving its savings targets, while at the same time it has significantly improved the level of customer service. The opinion around town is that the reforms that have taken place have led to a much better focus-a customer service focused PALM.
MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Hird.
MR HIRD: I thought you had a blind spot there for a while, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Not where you are concerned, Mr Hird, my friend.
MR HIRD: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr Humphries.
Mr Hargreaves interjecting-
MR HIRD: I am being rudely interrupted by our colleague Mr Hargreaves. I will have to start again. My question is to Mr Humphries, the Treasurer. Treasurer, what sort of response has there been to the 2000-2001 budget to date?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Hird for that question. As much as I am shy and modest on such questions and would love to cease to dwell on the government's-
Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: does this not require an opinion on the part of the minister or is that permissible under the standing orders?
MR HUMPHRIES: I have plenty of opinions to exercise, Mr Kaine. I can give you plenty of opinions and most of them are my own. I am very pleased to be able to report to the Assembly on the response to the budget. I will just say that not all the responses have been positive. I have Mr Quinlan's comments that the budget has been a cynical and patronising affair. This was apparently referring to the fact that, as he put it on the radio last night, there were a number of crowd pleasers in the budget; a number of items designed to appeal to various sections of the community.