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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1357..

Appropriation Bill 2013-2014 (No 2)

[Cognate bill: Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-2014 (No 2)]

Debate resumed from 20 March 2014, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM SPEAKER: I understand it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill cognately with order of the day No 2—Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-2014 (No 2). That being the case, in debating order of the day No 1, executive business, members may also address their remarks to order of the day No 2, executive business.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.12): It is, of course, the right way, when seeking to spend additional funds, that the executive come to the Assembly and ask for those funds to be released through an appropriation bill. As is also responsible, it is appropriate for that to go through at least some inquiry process, which, of course, the public accounts committee did. I thank the government for tabling their response today.

The government's response is interesting. It is good to see they have accepted most of the recommendations. That is very wise, Treasurer. I find the language of the minister's response to recommendation 5 quite curious. Recommendation 5 was that "the committee recommends that the ACT government give due consideration". What we basically objected to with the government disagreeing was that they refused to give any consideration to a bipartisan and totally agreed to resolution by two Labor members and two Liberal members of the committee.

Whether at the end of the consideration you go, "No, okay, we've looked at it. We've listened to what you've said in the report. We take into account what was said in the inquiry and, no, we think this is still right,"but to disagree with having any due consideration I think is a bit tough. But that is the Treasurer. That is probably the Treasurer's tough statement for the day. More concerning, though, is recommendation 13. Recommendation 13 is that the committee—a bipartisan committee with four members, two Liberal, two Labor:

recommends that the ACT Government consider tabling in the Legislative Assembly all financial analysis work that has been done to date concerning the Capital Metro Project.

And it is disagreed. So we are getting a very negative picture here of how the government are approaching the capital metro project. We know from questioning in previous committees that the Treasurer said there is no number too high that would stop the construction of the capital metro. So it is going ahead. We know that they rely on Mr Rattenbury's vote to remain in government, and this is a key plank for Mr Rattenbury. So we know they are not going to change.

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