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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1555..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

to see. We are not going to assume that people at a low ebb front our counters with mal-intent. In fact, I have every confidence in the officers employed by housing. They are a wonderful bunch of people and I have no intention whatsoever of making them special constables so that they can prosecute these people.

MRS BURKE: I have a supplementary question. That was a very interesting response. Minister, how many incidences of fraud committed against Housing ACT have you failed to act against and when will you be adopting the advice offered by the Auditor-General in recommendation 8 on page 36, for your information?

MR HARGREAVES: The question was about how many of these incidences I have failed to investigate. I hate to say it but that is not my job. My job is to administer a department. It is not to go and check into these things. As instances of fraud are detected, naturally enough we treat them particularly seriously. I would be very much surprised if there were not an entry in the annual report regarding that sort of activity.

The Auditor-General's report actually commended the department on its management systems and its processes. Mrs Burke, as usual, masquerades as a fruit-picker. She is a fruit-picker, Mr Speaker. She wanders through the orchards of the Auditor-General's report looking for a particular piece of fruit to use to criticise, yet again, the officers of the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. The first time I had occasion to call her to account was when she went personal on child protection workers. Then she went on a crusade against the workers in housing, and she has been doing that for the last 15 months.

Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order on relevance. In my supplementary question I asked the minister to say how many incidences of fraud committed against Housing ACT he has failed to act against and when he will be adopting the advice offered by the Auditor-General.

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

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, in the context of the Auditor-General's report, you will have noticed that we have agreed with all but one of those recommendations.

Mrs Burke: That wasn't the question.

MR HARGREAVES: The one that Mrs Burke refers to is contained in there. Mrs Burke has not acknowledged, even though she knows it, that we had already commenced action on 17 of those prior to the Auditor-General actually starting work.

Mrs Burke: What about this one?

MR HARGREAVES: Moo!

MR SPEAKER: Order!

Mr Pratt: Very intellectual, John!


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