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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 202..


MR PRATT: I ask a supplementary question. Thank you, minister, for your interesting answer. I refer to your ministerial oversight and ask: how does the commissioner of the ESA now report to you?

MR CORBELL: The commissioner of the ESA reports to me in a number of ways. First, I meet with the commissioner regularly in conjunction with senior executives from the justice and community safety portfolio. I have also established the ESA governance committee, which allows me to meet directly with the commissioner and with the chief officers of the four services on a regular basis so that they can put issues to me about resourcing and capability within the organisation.

For example, before the start of the coming budget round, which is now under way, I established the ESA governance committee. I called the commissioner and the four chief officers to my office and I said to each of them directly, "Tell me what it is you need. Tell me what your bids are. Tell me what your priorities are."They sat around the table in my office and were able to tell me directly and to my face what they needed. The governance committee that I convened will meet quarterly. In addition, I meet with the commissioner on a more frequent basis to discuss ongoing matters about the administration of the ESA.

Mr Pratt: Yes, sure.

MR CORBELL: If Mr Pratt does not believe me I am quite happy to provide him with figures to show how many times I met with the commissioner for emergency services in the past six months. I would be very happy to provide him with that. I will go and do that for Mr Pratt and I will show him how many times I have spoken to and met with the commissioner of the ESA.

Mr Pratt is very interested in continuing the myth that the commissioner is not able to talk to the minister and that the chief officers are not able to talk to the minister because of this change. I would have to say that it is entirely to the contrary. Anyone who has any understanding of the way good public administration should work and does work would know that these officers meet with me on a regular basis.

I am happy to provide Mr Pratt with that information. I look forward to him then issuing a public statement and confirming that the commissioner and the chief officers have unfettered access to the minister. Mr Pratt should then retract all previous comments in that regard.

Economy

Ms MacDONALD: My question is directed to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. Would the Treasurer advise the house on the current state of the ACT economy?

MR STANHOPE: It is a great pleasure for me to respond on the strength of the ACT economy. At the moment it is in an extremely good state. In fact, it has never been stronger than it is now. Indeed, of all the Australian economies we are something of a beacon. Over the 2005-06 financial year the ACT's gross state product, a measure of


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