Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2055..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
do with the terms of reference, content, expenditure proposals or merit of the budget. I would have to argue with that.
The terms of reference are that the Appropriation Bill be referred to the Select Committee on Estimates. The Appropriation Bill is certainly a representation of the budget document. If Mr Humphries is going to suggest that we cannot make recommendations about the broad policy issues that come up through the budget, then he would have to say that just about every recommendation in the report is out of order.
Clearly there is a place for an estimates committee to look at the broad policy issues which are represented through the Appropriation Bill. The broad manner in which the government of the day manages the territory's funds has to be seen as being relevant to that debate. Whether the government has decided to apply virtually all of the calculated operational surplus to fund new initiatives is a very significant consideration. We would like to know the rationale behind that. That is a perfectly reasonable thing for an accountable government to respond to and to provide an answer to.
The government responded to the second recommendation that presentation within the annual budget be revised to clearly distinguish between the actual operating surplus, extraordinary items and other non-operating items. However, in the case of another recommendation, the government said that it would not respond because it did not think the recommendation was within the committee's terms of reference. I do not think that is a reasonable response. These recommendations are perfectly relevant to the discussion of any budget.
I will not make any more comments at this point. I will look at the report in more detail and then refer to those issues in the debate on the budget.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Mr Smyth presented the following papers:
Cultural Facilities Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 29 (3)-Cultural Facilities Corporation-Quarterly Report (for third quarter of 2000/2001: 1 January to 31 March 2001).
Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 28 (3)-Canberra Tourism and Events Corporation-Quarterly report for January to March 2001.
Occupational Health and Safety Act, pursuant to subsection 96C (2)-Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner-Operation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 and its associated law-Third quarterly report 2000-2001.
Mr Moore presented the following papers:
Subordinate Laws Act, pursuant to section 6-