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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (4 May) . .

Page.. 1447..


For the 300 retirement village residents along Burkitt Street, Page, the removal of the bus routes and bus shelters is not an improvement. The removal of the bus routes and shelters along Burkitt Street is a deprivation of lifestyle, of independence, of wellbeing, of self-esteem, of flexibility for our ageing residents. Mr Doszpot's motion today will examine in more detail this government's ignorance of the needs of our ageing population. The action taken by the government on Burkitt Street in Page is just another example of that ignorance.

This petition was signed by 100 residents of the retirement villages on Burkitt Street. That represents a third of all residents. I was able to doorknock and speak to many residents. My staff also spoke to many residents as we have been around Burkitt Street. I fully endorse the petition and call on the government to act to reinstate the bus services in Burkitt Street.

Legislative Assembly (Parliamentary Budget Officer) Bill 2016

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.07): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The issue of costings of all policies by any political party is very important. Indeed the financial work done by committees of the Assembly is very important and the scrutiny that appears in the budget is very important, because to have sustainable long-term government delivery of services in this territory we must be able to pay for them.

Over the years, we have had some interesting conflicts. If I were to hark back to the bad old days, I remember a brochure that the Labor Party put out. It was a big, glossy, red-covered A4 sheet with a statement "It's the fact" stamped all over the front. It was about how certain policies were going to drive the territory into debt and deficit for decades, all of which was untrue.

We have had some evolution in regard to this issue. Indeed in the previous Assembly there was consideration of a parliamentary budget officer. What was determined was that we would give some financial support to the estimates committee to have an economics adviser to provide some support in regard to its work and that also a bill would be introduced, now called the Election Commitments Costing Act 2012. It set out a certain process. Having watched over the past four years, and indeed over the past four or five terms, how this works, it is time that we take the next step.

The idea of the PBO was a good idea in the last Assembly. I note that since then in July 2012 even the federal parliament has established a parliamentary budget officer. Having consulted with colleagues there, I can say that everyone is very pleased with the performance of that office, the way it assists the formation of policy and how it


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