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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2328 ..


1995. Mr Corbell and Mr Quinlan make points about recurrent and capital expenditure, but I think, in coming to a decision about this matter, I do not have to have regard to those points because of the wide-ranging effect of the motion by Mr Humphries. It is therefore my intention to confirm my earlier intention to rule this amendment out or order. I so rule.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, can I seek leave for an extension of time in relation to this item, given the time that was lost while this discussion took place.

Mr Hargreaves: It has been ruled out of order.

Mr Seselja: You are still able to speak to the line.

MR MULCAHY: I will speak on the substantive matter.

MR SPEAKER: There is a second lot of 10 minutes that you can use in relation to this debate.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, notwithstanding the ruling in relation to the amendment, I am obviously confined to making a plea to the territory government to look at the state of affairs in relation to the ACT Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: I take it that you’re going to use your second 10 minutes.

MR MULCAHY: Yes, I am using that now. I would remind members opposite that the Auditor-General produced report No 10 on financial audits in which—and I quote not the opposition’s words but the Auditor-General’s words—she identified “significant weaknesses in controls (mostly in relation to payments) were found and reported to the Secretariat”. This is in relation to the Legislative Assembly. She found:

The cumulative effect of these weaknesses is that the Secretariat is at particular risk of errors and irregularities (including fraud).

The Secretariat’s operating results have deteriorated significantly in recent years.

The Secretariat did not fully manage its Departmental operations to budget because its Net cost of services materially exceeded budget.

For the first time in recent years the Secretariat did not have sufficient current assets to meet current liabilities at 30 June 2004.

The point of these remarks is that—and I have said this now on at least two and possibly three occasions in the context of inquiries—we seem to be running this establishment on the smell of an oily rag, to use the oft-quoted phrase, and I am troubled that this is one area of government where, whilst I am not suggesting we go crazy in terms of expenditure, it is quite clear that, if the Speaker and his support seek additional funds to do the task of supporting the Assembly, then quite clearly they would not be making that request frivolously.

Whether or not they think much of the amendment I put, the principle remains the same in that a rather modest request for an increase of some $129,000 was sought to provide


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