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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2628..


Clause 35 agreed to.

Clause 36 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

Motion (by Mr Wood ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No 23, Private Members' business, relating to the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2003 (No 3) being called on and debated cognately with order of the day No 2, Executive business, relating to the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2004 (No 2).

Financial Management Amendment Bill 2003 (No 3)

[Cognate bill:

Financial Management Amendment Bill 2004 (No 2)]

Debate resumed from 26 November 2003, on motion by Ms Dundas:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (12.05): The Liberal Party will be supporting the government's bill, particularly as it picks up most of the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee's report on the use of the Treasurer's advance, and as I understand that Ms Dundas will not be proceeding with her bill if the Treasurer's bill is passed.

The government's bill has been a long time in coming and there has been much discussion-now water under the bridge-particularly in the last two or three years, about the use of the Treasurer's advance. I suspect that probably goes back for the last 14 or 15 years. The Auditor-General has made many comments about the lack of clarity in the legislation relating to the use of the Treasurer's advance.

We will all recall the fiasco surrounding the government's use of the Treasurer's advance to fund so-called urgent fire safety upgrades in public housing complexes. Not only did the use of the Treasurer's advance, at that time, have all the hallmarks of a government seeking to spend every last cent of the Treasurer's advance, we are all well aware that this spending on this urgent work in mid-2002 remains uncompleted. We also had a report from the Auditor-General in which he said that the use of the Treasurer's advance in that situation was a misuse and that its legality could also be questioned.

I believe the Treasurer's bacon was only saved because the transfer of funds between the territory bank accounts could be considered to have satisfied the technical requirements of the FMA for the funds having been spent.


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