Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . .
The report does contain some discussion of the role of parliamentary budget officers in other jurisdictions. It notes the role of the commonwealth budget officer, the role in New South Wales and also legislation that is being brought forward in Victoria to establish a parliamentary budget officer in Victoria. We did also have a discussion with Mr Stephen Bartos, who was the Parliamentary Budget Officer in New South Wales at the last New South Wales election, and the report contains insights that he gave us during that discussion. We felt it was valuable to reflect that back to the Assembly because when further work is done in the next term that information may well be beneficial to members who are considering this issue.
It is a brief report but certainly the committee has sought to pull together the information made available to it and then the analysis that has been done in order to inform any further discussion of these matters in the Ninth Assembly.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.28): I would like to reiterate the comments made by Mr Rattenbury as Chair of the committee. I was appointed to the committee upon Mr Smyth's resignation; so I missed some of the earlier workings of the committee but was able to be involved in the final deliberations and the preparation of the committee report. I think Mr Rattenbury has summed up the situation accurately. I think there is a need for a parliamentary budget office or officer in the ACT but it would be very tricky to get such a position or such an office operational in time for the October election this year. With that said, I think there are some improvements that can be made to the treasury costings process and I understand the government has agreed to a number of my suggestions to try to enhance that process over the coming 10 or 11 weeks.
I do encourage the next Assembly to seriously consider the best mechanism for getting this process operational as soon as possible so that there is some certainty and we are not in a situation where several months before the 2020 election we are frantically looking at establishing a PBO.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee
Paper and statement by chair
MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure in response to the resolution of the Assembly of 9 June 2016 which referred a proposed new continuing resolution relating to a family friendly workplace to the committee for consideration and report by 2 August. The committee considered the proposed new continuing resolution which would, if adopted, have the effect of purporting to require that a standing pair be granted for as long as required to an MLA who is a nursing mother or a parent with primary feeding responsibilities.
In its report No 8 to the Assembly entitled Family friendly workplace presented on 7 April 2016 the committee expressed the view that the granting of pairs fell outside the formal procedures of the Assembly and that to address the matters raised the whips of the parties represented in the Assembly should develop a set of guidelines for the operation of pairing arrangements to support family friendly practices.
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