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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 344..


MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (5.33), in reply: The referral to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts is not without risk. We hold the committee system of the Assembly in high regard, but most committees are, by their structure, often hostile to the government. That is one of the prices we pay in a minority government. This is the ultimate in consultation. I am concerned to make sure that Assembly members, via the committee system, get to hear about the ramifications of these changes in relation to public administration itself.

Since self-government, the Financial Management Act has been tinkered with. It is an obvious candidate for "I'm doing something. We're keeping the government honest."It is a ready target and I do not suppose that will change much. We really do have a responsibility to make sure that the governments of the future-do what you like with us-still have the capacity to govern and address emerging issues that need to be addressed.

If you look back at expenditures on the Treasurer's Advance over the years, you will find some pretty odd stuff. I recommend some of Mrs Carnell's lists of expenditure to you for light reading in terms of whether matters were urgent and unforeseen. You might even find a whole raft of Bruce Stadiums items popping up in there. I thank members for their commonsense support and trust that the committee will deliberate on this matter in an open manner and that we will get something that governments of whatever persuasion of the future can work with sensibly.

Motion agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion (by Mr Quinlan ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Death of Mr Gary Croston

ACT water supply

MRS DUNNE (5.37): Mr Speaker, I would like to touch on a couple matters. Firstly, I wish to mark, with sadness, the passing of Gary Croston from Environment ACT. Gary was a highly respected officer amongst his colleagues. I suspect that there was a departure from precedent when the Chief Minister put out a press release on the death of Gary Croston. Over the six-odd years I worked in this place as an adviser, I worked with Gary Croston and found him to be a commensurate public servant, highly professional, committed to his duties, and just a great bloke. I know that the officers at Environment ACT and Urban Services generally are devastated by his death. I think the Assembly should mark the passing of a fine man.

Secondly, I would like to clarify a couple of points about my position on dams, which has been described as inconsistent, although admittedly only by the Chief Minister. Firstly, the Chief Minister said in a media release earlier this week, "The Legislative Assembly on World Environment Day 2000 unanimously supported a motion that as far


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