Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 May 2007) . . Page.. 843 ..
To suggest that the ACT government should operate in a way that no other government in Australia operates, or no other major institution or organisation operates in Australia—that chief executives should not have the capacity to utilise their discretion in determining whether or not it is appropriate to provide entertainment or hospitality—is asking a bit too much. It is suggesting far too much.
I find this line of questioning ludicrous and puerile. The suggestion that our chief executives—that group of individuals who are highly accomplished professionals that we pay significant amounts of money to pursue the interests of our different agencies and the ACT—should not be trusted with a discretion on the expenditure of tiny amounts of money, amounting to hundreds of dollars, on official entertainment and that we somehow go into some period of prohibition on the provision of entertainment or hospitality is ludicrous.
Each of us, of course, has been rendered that hospitality on occasions and it has been rendered unbegrudgingly and openly. The suggestion that we somehow as a jurisdiction should bar or ban the expression of hospitality or the rendering of hospitality to those with whom we do business, to those with whom we seek to engage and to those with whom we, as a government or as a community, seek to engage in order to advance or enhance the governance of the territory is ludicrous.
I have to say that in relation to your questioning over the last two days—the innuendo, the insinuation, the pointing of the finger at our chief executives, the attempt to shame in this place chief executives and public servants—you will not see me attacking public servants. You have got form. This is nasty politics.
Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My point of order is that additional information after question time is to provide additional information, not to debate the point. I ask you to call the minister to order.
MR SPEAKER: I agree.
Health—World Asthma Day
Public service—credit card use
MS GALLAGHER: I have a couple of matters. One matter from yesterday relates to an answer I gave about World Asthma Day. In that answer, I said that the Asthma Foundation of the ACT would become a full member of the Asthma Foundation of Australia and launch its new website on World Asthma Day. I have since been advised that that was no longer happening yesterday as they had not had time to finalise the details. I correct the record on that slip up.
Mr Smyth’s question on the matter of expenditure at the Glenfiddich Warehouse, which I can see is a bad name, was related to a meal for eight attendees at an international ultraviolet water treatment conference function. There was a delegation from ACT Health and Actew who were on a tour to assess water treatment technology and regulation to assist in the introduction of the Mount Stromlo UV water treatment plant which will be happening later this year. The tangible benefit to the people of the ACT of this delegation travelling overseas to investigate UV technology is that we are