Page 5898 - Week 18 - Wednesday, 11 December 1991

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .


MR SPEAKER: Present in the gallery today is His Worship Alderman Frank Pangallo, accompanied by Mr Hugh Percy, the Queanbeyan City Manager and Town Clerk. On behalf of all members I bid them a warm welcome.

Members: Hear, hear!


Ministerial Travel Expenditure

MR KAINE: I direct a question to the Chief Minister. I note that, according to today's media, one Minister in Queensland has resigned over misusing only $342 worth of travel funds. Given the use by the Chief Minister and Mr Berry of nearly $7,000 of public moneys to go to the Labor conference in Hobart, does the Chief Minister believe that she is less accountable than her Queensland colleagues and, if not, when does she intend to resign?

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I will not be resigning. There has been no misuse. We have visited this issue on a number of occasions, and I have repeatedly addressed the issue. I can say that there was no misuse of public funds on that occasion, and I really do not believe that Mr Kaine has any call whatsoever to talk about resignations.

MR KAINE: I ask a supplementary question. Does the Chief Minister not believe that she is accountable to the taxpayer for the $7,000 that she spent to go to Hobart?

MS FOLLETT: Of course I am accountable, Mr Speaker, and the matter is a matter of public record. I have never pretended otherwise. It is an accountable matter, and it has been accounted for.

Occupational Health and Safety

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is about occupational health and safety at TAFE. I am quite happy for either Mr Berry or Mr Wood to take the question. My question follows a letter from the student association of the ACT Institute of TAFE, which claims that a decision has been made to centralise all occupational health and safety units in the hope of saving $100,000 and that it will result in an inferior service for the following reasons: A full-time occupational health and safety officer has been replaced by a part-time, two-to-three-days-a-week person; local TAFE knowledge is lost; the officer will be less able to interact with a balance of TAFE corporate services, special student needs and so forth. The students are wondering - indeed, I am wondering, and I presume the Canberra community is wondering - whether, in fact, there will be a saving under these circumstances and whether the loss of services can be adequately justified.

MR BERRY: I thank Mr Moore for the question. Yes, the Government set out to deliver occupational health and safety services more efficiently. That is why there was a centralisation, if one may use that term. But there will be no loss of service. In fact, with the centralisation of these services, it will be found that services will be of a high quality and workers in those areas need not worry about the level of occupational health and safety surveillance and service that they receive.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .