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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2866..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

department does things, he should address those. If they need to be funded they need to be funded and the money should go there.

I have a concern about running a parallel system. This is not to criticise the work that is done. The work is good and thorough. We may disagree with some of the recommendations and, like Ms Tucker, I have some concerns about where we are going with the rural villages. I would not say that the Liberal opposition opposes them and we are not as implacable as the Greens appear to be, but issues need to be addressed and we need to have some conversation here. The issue is not so much whether we do it or not, but rather who does it. I have concerns that we are distracting and taking resources out of the planning department, out of the Planning and Land Authority, which is stretched for resources. It is very hard to find professional planners these days, and there will be a certain amount of second-guessing. I am concerned about the approach of taking on the implementation of the non-urban study in what is not normally a line program administration department but rather a policy department. By all means have the policy thinking there, but when it comes to the implementation it should go somewhere else.

There are issues equally in relation to, for instance, the Office of Children, Youth and Family Support that we will be debating later in the day. That office has been established in the Chief Minister's Department. Unlike the other functions in the Chief Minister's Department it will have its own line of appropriation. But it raises the question, how long will that remain in the Chief Minister's Department? Is it appropriate that it should be in the Chief Minister's Department? The Chief Minister is not the minister responsible so we have to ask the question is it an appropriate place for it to be? We have to start to bore down and see what is Chief Minister's all about? Under this government and with this Chief Minister there has been a great blurring of the issues.

Members have touched on the issue of the women's budget. It is condescending. I am sure the Minister for Women feels that we are getting her coming and going. Last year we criticised her for not having a women's budget statement and not having anything in it. We did it this time and we criticised her again. Perhaps by iterations we will get to a process where we will have an acceptable women's budget and then it will cease to be relevant. If it becomes so acceptable that no one comments on it, it probably is not relevant. The view expressed at the estimates hearings was that we did an analysis and we came up with 87 per cent of all the programs were good for women, like the tree safety program. I think they worked on the basis that if a tree falls down it would have a 50 per cent chance of it falling on a woman. So. if we stopped trees falling down, that must be good for women. That seems to be the analysis.

I found it condescendingly middle class that somewhere along the line someone in the Office of Women decided that money for a dragway was not in any way beneficial to women. Mr Speaker is a bit of a motor sports enthusiast. I go to motor sports events from time to time. I would not call myself an enthusiast. But an awful lot of women go to motor sports events and enjoy them. It might be a benefit to women because it gets the men out of the house.

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 12.33 pm to 2.30 pm.

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