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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2485..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The committee made only three recommendations in its report. Two of the recommendations related to amendments to the Financial Management Act 1996 and one related to the level of the detailed explanation provided by the government in supplementary budget papers. One of the two recommended amendments to the Financial Management Act was to revert to quarterly reporting. That was implemented in the June sittings. The government does not consider the other recommendation to be appropriate as it would remove the government's ability to address cost pressures in the budget context.

On a broader level, the committee did not appear to support the need for a second appropriation. That is surprising, given that a second appropriation is the most transparent way in which a government can provide funding for necessary costs or projects during a financial year. Also, it allows the Assembly either to support or reject the proposal. It is this government's aim to be transparent with major expense items. A prime example of that is the inclusion of the Kingston foreshore and Bruce Operations loan waivers in the bill.

The waiver of these loans under the Financial Management Act does not have to be appropriated. However, the government chose to be transparent and enable the Assembly to comment on the proposed waivers. I note that at various points in the past the Assembly has been most insistent on there being more transparency, which the government is trying to satisfy. It clearly does not make sense for the Assembly to want greater openness and accountability but for its committees not to support such openness when it occurs.

Finally, I do commend the committee for one positive comment made in this report, which is to support this government's move to increase the availability of public housing for those groups most in need of support and assistance. I commend the government response to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Papers

Mr Smyth presented the following papers:

Report of the Review of the National Environment Protection Council Acts (Commonwealth, State and Territory) (NEPC).

Land (Planning and Environment) Act-Statement pursuant to paragraph 229A (7) (b) in relation to the revocation of Development Application No 20011811-block 2, section 93 Amaroo, dated 19 July 2001.

Cultural Facilities Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 24 (8)-Cultural Facilities Corporation 2001-2002 Business Plan.

National environment protection acts

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.


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