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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2849..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I respect their right to do so, but some of the debates have been, let me say, very repetitive.

Mr Pratt: That is your opinion.

MR QUINLAN: It certainly is, and I am on my feet giving it, mate. It has been stated that committees are working harder than ever. I do not know about that. I do not think any measure has been made. I will not deny for a moment that most members of this place work hard and that committee work is hard work. The claims about working harder than ever might be just selling short some of the work that has been done by past committees over the years of the Assembly. Certainly, there is a workload there, but I can recall in the course of the last Assembly being involved in a couple of committees which worked very hard and I cannot imagine the committees of today could claim that they have worked harder just because it is closer to today.

Mr Stefaniak mentioned the committee structure and its contribution to this place. I think that it does contribute to this place. People have asked me outside the ACT about our system of government and the quickest way I could explain it was to say that we have an upper house and no lower house. We seem to focus a lot on process within the place.

I note that Mrs Dunne used the term "economic cycle" in her address. I remember from the Estimates Committee process that one should not use the term "economic cycle" unless one explains it, so I would like to table a full explanation of the economic cycle for the edification of members. I table the following paper:

The Economic Cycle-chart.

Members will find that there are ups and downs and a time line of indeterminate length. I hope that that clears it up for every member and that all members will feel free to use the term "economic cycle" at will.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 1.2-ACT executive, $4,685,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $4,685,000.

MS DUNDAS (11.13): I will be brief in speaking to this line item. I note that the ACT executive has received a 14 per cent increase in funding. It appears that over the last number of years the ACT executive has been receiving increases in funding based on staff numbers. That is the explanation we have from the budget papers.

I note with disappointment that, even though I put a question on notice to the Chief Minister on 19 May and repeated the question last week, no answer has been forthcoming in relation to what these staff are doing and why the ACT executive has been subject to such increases over the last number of years while other areas, such as the Health Complaints Commissioner, are actually suffering a decrease in funding. I put again on the record that I would like a fuller explanation of the use of money by the ACT executive in this budget statement.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.


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