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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2328..


MR MOORE (continuing):

a surgical nature, the person can go through the normal hospital process; but we do not do orthodontic work.

Annual reports and audited financial statements

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, in answer to my question on the publication of annual reports, you told the Assembly that there was an announcement some time ago that the government would comply with the recommendation of the Auditor-General that annual reports and financial statements would be released early in an election year to allow for public scrutiny. You said that the announcement came "when the Labor Party-in fact, Mr Quinlan-asserted that we intended to ignore the Auditor-General". You said:

I made clear that we intended to agree with what the Auditor had said ... It will be on the public record.

In fact, it was Mr Stanhope who, in a media statement issued on 10 May, drew attention to the Chief Minister's statement in the Assembly on 3 May. The only record of a public announcement the Assembly library can find is a reference to a story published in the Canberra Times on 11 May headed "Call for pre-election audit, reports". That reference-and I quote from that illustrious newspaper-reads:

The Humphries Government said yesterday it would consider options to publish audited financial results and annual reports for this year before the October ACT election.

Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly whether there is another, more specific reference on the public record to his commitment to meet the Auditor's recommendation? If so, where is it?

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not carry around with me a bundle of clippings from the Canberra Times so I will take that part of the question on notice. I do know that the opposition have some trouble with their dates. I recall hearing in yesterday's debate that the Labor Party's announcement about having a single-zone bus fare in the ACT came before the government's announcement in the budget. My records show that it was made well after the budget. Perhaps if I can produce evidence of where my statement preceded Mr Stanhope's with respect to the audited statements Mr Hargreaves could produce his evidence showing where his or somebody else's statement preceded Mr Smyth's statement about single-zone bus fares.

MR HARGREAVES: Given that we rely quite heavily on the Assembly's library service and that I trust them more than I do the government, will the Chief Minister concede that the Canberra Times reference is the only public record of any kind of action the government has decided to take and that a consideration of options is hardly a commitment? What made the government change its mind?

MR HUMPHRIES: I think I have already answered that question. I indicated that I will take it on notice.


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