Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 5 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1724..
MR SESELJA (continuing):
could not support it. There was a second version of the motion which we still had some concerns about in terms of some of the potential costs and the ability to quantify that.
As I say, we are happy to support this motion. There is nothing objectionable in it. Whether it goes far enough is another question. But this is something that, in the end, the Greens and Labor have agreed to, and we are certainly not going to oppose it.
Motion agreed to.
At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put and negatived.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.00): Mr Speaker, I move:
That this Assembly:
(1) notes with concern the reduction in access to Budget information for Members of the Assembly on Budget day;
(2) regrets the recent tendency to apply the gag to budget debates without detailed discussion of some line items;
(3) requires the Stanhope-Gallagher government to provide to each member's office a Budget kit for the member and for each designated adviser, consisting of both printed budget papers and a CD-ROM at the same time on Budget Day that the Budget lockup commences;
(4) requires the Stanhope-Gallagher government to make officers available after the adjournment of the morning session on Budget Day to brief the Opposition and cross benches on the Budget; and
(5) considers that each budget line should have at least one speaker from the government, the opposition and the cross benches in the debate on that appropriation.
This motion concerns the access to information for members of this place on the coming budget day, the first Tuesday in May. It sets out quite clearly some concerns about the reduction in access to that budget information that this place has suffered over the last couple of years. It almost makes you hark back to asking for Mr Quinlan to return because at least when Mr Quinlan was here the boxes did arrive early in the morning or just after midday and we actually had access to members of the Treasury to brief us on the contents of the budget.
Unfortunately, under Treasurer Stanhope, of course all that disappeared and we got to the situation last year when basically the budget boxes arrived just before we came down to question time, and there was certainly no briefing from officials. You have to wonder at the inability of a government to defend probably the most important bill of the year.