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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 8 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2803..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

own way. I commend it because, at its most fundamental, the role of the Auditor-General is a key activity in any democracy for ensuring the integrity of the government of the day and the decisions that it makes.

I had some conversations with members of the Greens yesterday about this matter. The suggestion was made to me that perhaps this bill should go to a committee. I think that would be excellent. To scrutinise this in a public way would be a worthy thing for a committee of the Assembly to do. The opposition, if the Greens intend to move that motion, would have no objection to it.

Again, I note the letters in the letter page of the Canberra Times where people are outraged at the attacks of the Chief Minister and are outraged at any attempt to muzzle the Auditor-General. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Le Couteur) adjourned to the next sitting.

Auditor-General's Office—funding

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.22): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) supports the important role played by the ACT Auditor-General in monitoring government agencies and programs;

(2) notes:

(a) that the ACT Auditor-General is held in high regard by the Assembly and the ACT community;

(b) that the Chief Minister:

(i) warned the Auditor-General on 19 June 2009, that "I think there's potential for a very hard look at efficiencies within the Auditor General's office ... I think perhaps it's time for the Auditor-General's office to be audited so we can have a look at the appropriateness of the level of her funding";

(ii) referred to a finding of the Auditor-General on Rhodium as a gratuitous, throwaway remark in September 2006; and

(iii) stated on 3 May 2005 that reading an Auditor-General's report on payments to a former head of his department was "low priority during budget week"; and

(c) that recommendation 14 of the Select Committee on Estimates 2009-10 was that the Auditor-General's funding allocation be increased to allow for the target number of performance audits to be reached without running a deficit;

(3) calls on the Stanhope-Gallagher Government to adequately fund the Auditor-General;


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