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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2405..


MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny Report No 17 contains the committee's comments on six bills and 36 pieces of subordinate legislation. The report was circulated to members out of session. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Estimates 2002-2003-Standing Committee

Report

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (10.43): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to present the Select Committee on Estimates 2002-03 report.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I present the following report:

Estimates 2002-2003-Select Committee-Budget 2002-03, together with minutes of proceedings.

Pursuant to an order of the Assembly, the committee forwarded its report to you, Mr Speaker, on 19 August, and you authorised the printing, publication and circulation of the report. I move:

That the report be noted.

This is the first substantive Estimates Committee report to be presented in this Assembly. It follows the presentation of the first Labor budget in the ACT in eight years. It has been a quite extensive exercise-probably more extensive than the Assembly is likely to see in future. If the government resumes the practice of bringing budgets down in May, or thereabouts, then presumably future estimates processes will be conducted in the gap between sittings in the May-June period, rather than in the July-August period, when obviously less time will be available.

As part of this process, there was extensive questioning of ministers-some ministers returned to the committee on a number of occasions. There was also evidence taken from members of the community, in the form of both written and oral submissions. The result has been a fairly comprehensive report.

I said in this place last year that I hoped there would be a process of re-emphasising and adding value to the reports of Assembly committees, so they were seen as useful exercises in adducing information and presenting it to the Assembly in a way which will allow members and governments to proceed to build better legislation and result in better outcomes for the work we do here. I hope this report fulfils that commitment.

The report, at many points, is critical of the government. It would be hard to imagine an Assembly report on a budget of any description which did not make criticisms, but the report also gives the government credit where credit is due. It appropriately analyses those things where information is yet to be adduced and put on the table.

I believe the most important feature of this report is that there are extensive areas where information is yet to be provided to the public, and to this Assembly-and a great deal of work will need to be done to produce that information.


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