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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 31..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

those numbers are not necessarily telling us whether we are doing the job or whether we are not, and there is no reporting, if you like, in between those numbers so that the focus is only on numbers and we are missing the wider picture of the quality of service and the satisfaction levels that can be measured for the recipients of government services.

We also make a request for governments, wherever possible, to include in budgets the marginal cost of service-the marginal cost of teachers, nurses, policemen, et cetera-so that we can avoid that awful situation where some of us go out on the hustings and make election promises and the government says that we have got our sums wrong. In the spirit of goodwill and cooperation which is supposed to underpin the draft budget process, please give us the information that will allow us to form our policies and initiatives in the election year. I also commend the report to the Assembly.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.30 pm

Questions without notice

Bruce Stadium redevelopment

MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Speaker, when the Chief Minister issued his apology to the people of Canberra over the Bruce Stadium redevelopment fiasco he said in a media release:

We made mistakes, we acknowledge them, and we are taking action to prevent them happening again.

This was a significant admission in view of the long trail of denial walked by the Chief Minister and his predecessor. But the Chief Minister fell short in his admission-he did not detail the mistakes. Mr Speaker, can the Chief Minister now list what mistakes he acknowledges the government made? Does he finally acknowledge that the most serious of them was to break the law-to spend money that had not be appropriated by this place in breach of the Financial Management Act and the self-government Act?

MR SPEAKER: Not a legal opinion, Chief Minister.

MR HUMPHRIES: Indeed, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Stanhope for that question. It is good to see that, despite a two-month break, Mr Stanhope and no doubt others on that side of the chamber have not had the opportunity to take a new approach on any of these issues. They have the same agenda to run and that is good for them. Consistency pays off, I suppose, one of these days, Mr Speaker.

It is also interesting to note that the opposition has been consistently making the point in the last few years that the government needs to take this issue seriously, that it needs to understand that there is a problem with the approach to Bruce Stadium, and that there is a series of issues raised by the Auditor-General to which it should respond seriously. Despite the fact that when that finally has occurred, at least in the eyes of the opposition, the response from them is that the government is crying crocodile tears;


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