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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1102..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

function in line agencies led to duplication and the loss of the efficiencies in the services that the Corporate Services Bureau was meant to provide.

What happened with the money? The history of this experiment by Rosemary Follett is interesting. It was a sorry outcome for the ACT and its people, as Mr Stanhope's experiment will be. In the 1991 budget papers, the Follett government anticipated savings of $1.5 million because of the creation of the Corporate Services Bureau.

But what was the reality? According to the 1992 budget papers, the Corporate Services Bureau incurred a deficit of $3.4 million. It blew the budget yet again. If the ACT budget, which has trebled since that time, is treated the same way, it will come at a significant cost. So we need to know whether or not the Chief Minister had this history lesson in mind with the Costello review or whether we are just idling along with ideas that are put up but are not substantiated.

I could go on and talk about what happened in WA, where there have been no savings. I could go on and talk about other inefficiencies that have occurred because of the expansion of this government's public service. But what we need is an informed debate. To have that, we need the Costello report and we need it tabled today.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (12.00): For humbug and hypocrisy, I guess there is no place like a parliament. In relation to a debate by an opposition on the release of documents, there are perhaps lines utilised by Mr Smyth that I might, to be honest, have used myself on occasion when I was Leader of the Opposition.

Let us cast our minds back, in the context of the release of cabinet-in-confidence documentation, to the many debates held in this place on the hospital implosion, the many debates held in this place on Hall/Kinlyside and the many debates held in this place on Bruce Stadium. Let us go back to the Hansards. We note today Mr Smyth quoting judiciously, and with some gusto, claims and statements made by members of oppositions and governments in the past on specific instances. I could go back to all those same Hansards and quote the then government's response to motions moved and claims made by the opposition on the hospital implosion. In relation to the hospital implosion, I have no doubt—and I recall quite specifically—that motions—

Mr Smyth: So you admit you are a hypocrite.

MR STANHOPE: We are talking about your position and your motion at the moment, Mr Smyth. We are trying to provide some context on the humbug, the hypocrisy and the grasping for some traction by this Leader of the Opposition on a cabinet-in-confidence budget document.

It is interesting that, on some of those previous issues that we debated in this place, there was a certain interest by the opposition and the community in important documents, particularly cabinet documents, and decisions taken by the Liberal Party in government—in cabinets which included Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak—on the hospital implosion, Bruce Stadium and Hall/Kinlyside. There was an extreme level of public interest in the release of those documents.


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