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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 2865..


Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to inquiries about certain Auditor-General's reports currently before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. They are: review of Auditor-General's performance audit report No 2 of 2005: Development application and approval process; and review of Auditor-General's report of April 2005: Review report: matters relevant to the office of the Special Adviser, Council of Australian Government and Intergovernmental Relations.

On 5 May 2005, Auditor-General's report No 2 of 2005 was referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. On 12 May 2005, the Auditor-General provided the review report of April 2005 to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry. Consequently, the committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the reports and, on 8 June 2005, resolved to inquire further into each of the reports.

In relation to Auditor-General's report No 2 of 2005, the committee invited submissions from the government and specific community and professional organisations and will hold public hearings in September 2005. The committee is expecting to report to the Legislative Assembly on both Auditor-General's reports as soon as practicable.

Executive business-precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Water Resources Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 5 May 2005, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.40): The Water Resources Amendment Bill 2005 does two quite separate and discrete things. Firstly, it will allow the Environment Protection Authority to issue a public water utility with a licence that allows the water utility to take water in a quantity greater than that expressed in any particular water allocation from either the same catchment for which the application applies or another catchment. This part of the bill, for the most part the new section 35A of the bill, seems to be uncontroversial. It allows the water utility flexibility so long as it does not exceed its allocation.

I say it is seemingly uncontroversial because, although I have been briefed on this matter, supplementary information that I asked for at that briefing, which I will note was on 21 June this year, has not been forthcoming. I asked officials at that briefing to provide me with information about the quantum of the allocations from each catchment that we were interested in; the extent to which, if it had been the case in the past, the water utility may have exceeded its allocation from one catchment or whether there was a background problem that we were fixing up. I do not have a problem with the notion.


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