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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 2969..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The Government is concerned to maintain the teaching program, but it will be seeking ways and means by which the program can be improved. That is not an unusual or ambitious goal. It is a goal that any responsible government has to take on board if it wishes to ensure that its programs remain relevant and up to date. I believe that we can achieve changes in staffing structures at Birrigai, possibly with a different mix between teaching and non-teaching positions, in order to demonstrate that kind of capacity.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 12.30 pm, the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 77. The resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next day of sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Financial Management Reform Unit

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I have a question for Mrs Carnell as Chief Minister. Chief Minister, will you confirm that your Government recently approved the appointment under contract of a Mr Steve Anderson as head of the Financial Management Reform Unit at a fee of $1,440 per day, or $340,000 per annum? Will you explain to the Assembly how you justify paying this exorbitant amount of money to a consultant at a time when you are proposing to sack many executive officers in order to reduce expenditure? Will you table in the Assembly today the contract with Mr Anderson and his terms of reference and/or the gazettal of his appointment?

MRS CARNELL: Yes, we have appointed Steve Anderson; in fact, not just recently, but quite a few weeks ago, I would have thought. Steve Anderson has been brought on stream to head up the financial reform process within the ACT Government. It was initially advertised internally to try to get an appropriate person from inside the ACT Government Service to do that job, but unfortunately there was nobody appropriate who actually applied for it.

Mr Berry: You did not offer them $340,000; that is why.

MRS CARNELL: It is the truth. I was surprised too, but it turned out that there was nobody internally who wanted to do this sort of a job. It is a very difficult job and one that is going to require an enormous amount of hours and an enormous amount of enthusiasm. Mr Anderson has a long history of being part of these sorts of reform processes. He has worked in Western Australia and a number of other places, getting these sorts of reforms in place and working. Having found nobody internally to do the job, I believe that Steve Anderson was a very appropriate appointment.


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