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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 796..


This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly that the public safety and security of residents of Tharwa has unduly been put at risk by the closure of the Tharwa Bridge.

Your petitioners therefore request that the Assembly act to ensure that a formal request is made immediately to the Commonwealth Government for assistance in the installation of a temporary low level crossing at Tharwa.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petitions would be recorded in Hansard and a copy of each referred to the appropriate minister, the petitions were received.

Financial Management Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2)

Mr Mulcahy, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Although today I present the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2), it disappoints me somewhat that it has fallen on the Liberal opposition to do so. The Financial Management Amendment Bill 2007 seeks to amend the Financial Management Act 1996 to make it a legislative requirement in the ACT for the Treasurer to prepare and table a capital works program progress report for every quarter.

The bill proposes the introduction of new section 26A to the Financial Management Act. This new section details when reports must be prepared and tabled or presented to members of the Legislative Assembly and what must be contained within those reports. The detail of the bill was inspired by capital works program progress reports that were tabled for previous quarters within the Assembly.

The legislatively required reports, which will cover the quarter and the period from the beginning of the financial year until the end of each particular quarter, will have to be prepared within 45 days after the end of each quarter of a financial year.

The reports will provide information for each administrative unit within the government on the amount appropriated in the budget for (1) new works and (2) works in progress and deferrals from previous years. The reporting requirements are detailed in the bill in proposed section 26A (3). They will allow the opposition and the taxpaying public to track any variations in budgeted capital works. Essentially the reports will allow both the opposition and the community at large to track how much was budgeted, how much has been spent and any variations to the budgeted amount.

This is vital information in itself and it should be willingly provided by any government that declares that it is committed to openness and accountability. Mr Speaker, it is worth noting that by custom or convention such reports have long been


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