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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2603..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on forthwith.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Corbell ) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent orders of the day Nos 4 and 5, Assembly business, relating to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2006-2007 and the government response to that report, being called on in sequence immediately after the resolution of any question relating to the conclusion of consideration of order of the day No 1, executive business, relating to the Appropriation Bill 2006-2007.

Appropriation Bill 2006-2007

[Cognate papers:

Estimates 2006-2007—Select Committee report

Estimates 2006-2007—Select Committee—report—government response]

Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.4—Chief Minister's Department, $36,418,000 (net cost of outputs), $35,653,000 (capital injection), totalling $72,071,000.

Debate resumed from 22 August 2006.

MR SPEAKER: I remind members that this is a cognate debate and, in debating order of the day No 1, executive business, they may also address their remarks to the relevant parts of orders of the day Nos 4 and 5, Assembly business, relating to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2006-2007 and the government's response to the report.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (10.57): Obviously, the appropriation for the Chief Minister's Department is an important, if not huge, part of the budget because of what the Chief Minister's Department actually does. I will speak to a number of points, without trying to go too much over subjects other people have spoken about.

I will start with the problem with staffing levels. It would appear that the government had very little idea of the staffing levels. I was somewhat amazed to hear the Chief Minister say several months before the budget—it may have been said in answer to a question or it may have been said in debate—in relation to the size of the public service, which had gone up from 15,500 to around 18,000, "When I was first made aware or first realised the rate of growth of the ACT public service, I was somewhat alarmed."And well he should be. I think that that is indicative of the way the government has


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