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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 6 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1805..


We have to make sure that every dollar of taxpayers' money in the ACT is spent effectively and efficiently. I have some sympathy in a way for what Katy Gallagher is saying about making sure our courts or our departments are as effective and efficient as they can be, but you cannot say that and then say, "Let's double the number of politicians."

We are not yet convinced that this is the path this Assembly should take. We are going to consider it further. Certainly, as part of that, I would expect that the community are substantially engaged and that is not just a group of insiders or academics that have debates—some for, some against. Let us see what the community really thinks. Let us not have a survey that is skewed—and we have had significant allegations about the centenary surveys—but let us have a survey, an opinion poll, whatever you want to call it, a big one, getting out there in the community and asking, "Do you want Katy Gallagher's blueprint, which is doubling the number of politicians here in the ACT,"and let us see what the people think. If you are afraid to do that, if you are refusing to do that, do not come looking to us for support for what is your agenda.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2013

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (10.27): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to table the Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2013 and the explanatory statement for the bill. This bill implements a number of the government's agreed recommendations from the inquiry by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts into the Auditor-General Act. A separate bill will address the committee's recommendation to designate the Auditor-General as an officer of the parliament, and other related recommendations.

The changes in the bill I am tabling today include:

amendments to clarify the independence of the Auditor-General;

requiring the Auditor-General to develop and consult on an annual performance audit program;

providing a new power for the audit of non-government entities in receipt of government funding, but subject to some prerequisites set out in the bill; and


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