Page 3001 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022
maybe, in the next budget we need to look at expanding the sports ACT office. If we are going to get some of the community sport outcomes that we need, and the partnerships with TCCS to audit and reflect on some of those community sport infrastructure pieces, maybe we need a little bit more money next time to put a few bums on seats to help those people out, and to make sure that we are getting on top of some of the policy challenges in that space.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (6.03): The public service is capable of profound public good, but unfortunately this Labor-Greens government does not give the ACT Public Service the tools it needs to be the efficient, effective service that would benefit our capital. During hearings I went to the CMTEDD-related budget analysis and I was overwhelmed, quite frankly, by a sense of sadness. The minister did not seem to be inspired to do clever creative things for the good of the public nor to engage with ways to do things better or more effectively. That was my assessment.
I turn to the Special Minister of State’s appropriation. The Special Minister of State, regarding FOI—freedom of information—seemed comprehensively unaware of the responsibilities he carries for an act like the Freedom of Information Act. He could not describe the operations of different agencies that administer this piece of legislation, even though he is responsible for it as Special Minister of State. The minister did not know how many FOI officers are trained for this capability in each department and could not see how things could be done differently. It seems that the old rule of “It has been done that way for a while” is enough. Very disappointing. I will commit, though, to both the community and the ACT public service, to ensuring that they are fully supported in doing their important role of scrutinising the spending habits of this minister.
Regarding Shared Services, the Special Minister of State seemed to have no understanding of the seemingly inordinate and very mysterious funds allocated to the human resources and information management solution, which was discussed during recent estimates. I am still at a loss to know where tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars has gone, with nothing to show for it. In this program there have been multiple extended completion dates, ranging back to pre COVID. The ACT public service deserves to have top standard ICT solutions that make it efficient, effective and transparent.
Unfortunately, this budget, for this appropriation, has filled me with little confidence that the Labor-Greens government have any understanding of how to run an effective and efficient public service. There is little imagination, in my opinion, on how to run a government and how to run it well for this community.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (6.06): I want to speak briefly about a couple of aspects of the budget in this section. The arts minister is not here, but I wanted to congratulate her on the delivery of the long-promised redistribution of arts organisation funding. That is really good to see. It reflects the changing landscape of the arts organisations that we now have in the ACT.
We also really welcome the 10 per cent increase for our arts organisations, although we note that our overall arts budget is still reasonably stagnant. It has not actually gone up that much. The total increase is around $600,000. Out of $20 million, that is