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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1038..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I would like to say, for the information of members, Mr Costello has just now confirmed that at no time, in any context, has he said there will be a deficit of $190 million. He denies absolutely the claims. It is not something that he has ever said or would say. In other words, the entire bases of the questions from the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition were false. They were a serious impugning of the reputation of Treasury officials and of this government.

To suggest that, in the space of three months, we would have deliberately brought into this place something as important as the midyear review, something required of the government statutorily, and that we would have deliberately lied is an absolute outrage. It is an absolute outrage for the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to suggest that the government has deliberately lied in documents it is required to table in this place in relation to the state of the territory's finances. It is a disgrace.

Mrs Burke: On a point of order—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the member for her question. In particular, I commend the member for her honesty, in stark distinction to that of others. You do not deserve to have been sent to Coventry in the way that you have, Mrs Dunne. You set a standard that your colleagues should seek to emulate.

Mrs Dunne: Can you answer my question, please?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I can.

Mrs Dunne: You are making me blush, Chief Minister, and that is fun.

MR STANHOPE: It might be the first time ever, Mrs Dunne.

Mrs Dunne, you are correct. There are somewhat in excess of 1,000 staff across the ACT public service engaged in the delivery of a range of corporate support services, at an annual cost of somewhere between $145 million and $150 million. Of course, in the context of such a significant portion of the work force, representing such significant employee cost and cost of service delivery—in other words, over 1,000 public servants at a cost in the order of $150 million delivering corporate services—it is an obvious area in which a government seeking efficiencies and determined to ensure the delivery as smoothly as possible of high-quality government services would look for efficiencies and restructure. The services cover areas such as human resource management, finance, information technology, communications, procurement, records management and publishing.

The most significant numbers of staff engaged are: in human resources, about 350; in finance, about 300; in IT, just over 300; in procurement, of the order of 80; and in records, around 30. It has been anticipated that there is much fine detail to be done. The transfer into a single shared services arrangement, hopefully in a centralised location, is a

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