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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1189..


MR MOORE (continuing):

Hepatitis C-Lookback program and financial assistance scheme report as at 31 December 2000.

Information bulletins-

Calvary Public Hospital-Patient Activity Data-November 2000 and January 2001.

The Canberra Hospital-Patient Activity Data-November 2000 and January 2001.

Education, Community Services and Recreation-Standing Committee

Report No 8

MS TUCKER (4.07): Pursuant to order, I present the following report:

Education, Community Services and Recreation-Standing Committee-Report No 8-2001-02 draft budget initiatives and capital works program for the Department of Education and Community Services, dated 22 March 2001, together with extracts of the minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

The comments I will make on this report relate directly to the comments I just made about the first phase of the draft budget process in one way. The committee was very concerned about the lack of information provided for the committee to look at and make judgment upon. I will just quote from one of the community submissions on that matter. It was from ACTCOSS, whose views reflected the views of many of the community groups and individuals who spoke to our committee. The submission reads:

The Council's ability to comment on the Government's draft measures has been limited by a lack of information. Without the publication of an entire draft budget, it is not possible to determine whether these measures represent new initiatives, whether they are merely existing initiatives renamed, or whether they are Commonwealth programs being implemented by the ACT. In addition, the Council does not know which programs have been cut to fund these new initiatives. This is a critical issue which severely compromises the Council's ability to evaluate these measures.

Later, the department reassured the committee that there were no cuts, but the broader information that was articulated by ACTCOSS certainly was not there. We raised these matters with the minister and were provided with some additional information. The minister advised that the total budget for 2001-02 at stage 2 of the budget process was $417 million in government payments for outputs, $21 million in capital injection and a total expenditure of $466 million. In addition, there was territorial revenue and expenditure. We were able to compare that at least with last year.

The committee also requested a draft budget for the Department of Education and Community Services which would show where changes had been made and the level of funding proposed for each output class. Although the committee was told at the public hearing of 5 March 2001 that the information would be made available to the committee


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