Page 1444 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 June 2022

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I move:

That the report be noted.

This is the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for the Tenth Assembly. During its inquiry, the public accounts committee was required to examine all or part of nine annual and financial reports for 2020-21. The committee held three public hearings via videoconference and a total of 52 questions were taken and placed on notice during the inquiry.

The committee’s report made nine recommendations relating to the ACT government, Icon Water, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, Major Projects Canberra and the Office of the Legislative Assembly. On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank those who participated in or otherwise assisted this inquiry. This includes the ACT government, ministers, directorate officials and statutory officers. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Federal election 2022—impact on the ACT

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.23): Last month’s federal election represents a once-in-a-generation shift in Australia’s political landscape. Although the final results in the Senate are not yet finalised, it is clear from the house results that the change of government opens up a significant opportunity for a better long-term future for Canberra.

For the best part of a decade the ACT was overlooked or treated as a second-class jurisdiction. The Australian public service was cut back, demoralised, decentralised and contracted out. Our jurisdiction did not receive its fair share of funding to invest in infrastructure and services that our growing city needs, all too often leaving the territory government to do the heavy lifting without a federal partner. Efforts to restore territory rights were consistently blocked.

Something had to give and, thankfully, the election has delivered that change—a new Labor government that values the things Canberrans care about, including supporting public health care and public education, real action on climate change and an end to the climate wars, and support for our most vulnerable.

Across Australia we saw federal electorates shift to more socially progressive and integrity-driven parties and candidates, and a rejection of the ultra-conservative politics of division and fear. There could not have been a more resounding rejection of that division and fear—most egregiously whipped up during the federal campaign in the form of attacking marginalised and vulnerable trans kids, a campaign that has brought long-term shame to the party involved.

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