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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2278..


MS DUNDAS

(continuing):

I will support this amendment, as I do believe that it should specifically remove the extra funding for a whole-of-government media team. I do think that it is an excessive amount of money to be spending and the money could be spent better elsewhere. If this amendment is successful and the Treasurer wants to come back with Appropriation Bill 2003-2004 (No 2) showing where he wants to spend any extra money that he has then in his bottom line, I would be happy to consider it. I have considered carefully how budgets are done and the government's role in developing them. I hope that the government will consider carefully the words that have been said in the Assembly during this debate and take note of them for future debates on money bills.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Public service

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Stanhope, as the minister responsible for public sector management. I refer to a Canberra Times report of 21 June 2003 about a recent committee set up by the branch council of the Labor Party, and I quote:

In a strongly worded motion passed at last night's 42-member branch council meeting, senior Labor figures expressed their frustration at what they have described as continuing bad policy decisions within the top ranks of the ACT service.

Chief Minister, did you attend this meeting and, if so, did you strongly defend your senior public servants from this unprecedented attack by your Labor colleagues?

MR STANHOPE

: Mr Speaker, I did not attend the meeting.

MR SMYTH

: Chief Minister, why is your government using public servants and office holders as scapegoats for your bad decisions, rather than accepting responsibility for them?

MR STANHOPE

: It is not, Mr Speaker.

Public service

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister, Mr Stanhope, as the minister responsible for public sector management. I refer to a Canberra Times report of 21 June 2003 about a recent committee set up by the branch council of the Labor Party:

They have called on secretary Matthew Cossey to set up ... a reform plan "with the focus of all inquiries to be the management style and effectiveness of the public service and statutory boards and authorities ..."


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