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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 869..


Clause 1.

Debate resumed from 4 March 2004.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Postponement of order of the day

Motion (by Mr Wood ) agreed to:

That order of the day No. 4, Executive business, relating to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2003 be postponed until the next day of sitting.

Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 2003

[Cognate bill:

Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill 2004]

Debate resumed from 11 December 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SPEAKER: I understand that it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with order of the day No 6, the Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill 2004. That being the case, that is the course we will follow.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (10.42): Mr Speaker, it is wise that the Assembly debates these bills cognately. They both refer to the same issue and I am sure many of the points can be adequately canvassed in one round of speeches.

The Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 2003 gives effect to some of the recommendations of the Auditor-General to simplify the presentation and tabling arrangements for annual reports. The Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 then makes a number of consequential amendments as a result of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 2003.

Mr Speaker, the important bill of the two is the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 2003, which gives effect to some, but only some, of the recommendations of the Auditor-General to improve the presentation and tabling arrangements for annual reports. It is deficient, but I will come to that in a moment.

The accompanying Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill 2004 is consequential and purely mechanical. Basically, it lists all of the agencies and departments which must comply with the government agencies bill. It replaces reference to the 1995 act with the 2004 act, so naturally we would support it.

The government agencies bill can only be described as a very lame response to the problems highlighted by the Auditor-General. This government is becoming more and


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