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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 3 May 2007) . . Page.. 972 ..

I seriously wonder where this government is going. The attitude that we have seen in the last few days has been fascinating to me, reflected in the Chief Minister’s reaction to opposition questions over discretionary spending within government departments. As I said yesterday, this is not about individual items adding up to hundreds of dollars. It is about an attitude that the people of Canberra expect to be adhered to by their government. Expenditure must show a tangible benefit and that is what it is all about. This is clearly not a government that is on top of its game. We heard that a while back when the Chief Minister expressed dismay that there were an extra 2,300 staff he knew nothing about. It is a sign of a government that is not on top of its game. (Time expired.)

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.26): What incredible hypocrisy we have seen from the other side. Who can forget some of their government work? Who can forget the Bruce Stadium? Who can forget the V8 race, the futsal slab and “Feel the Power”?

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for discussion is now concluded.

Government Procurement Amendment Bill 2007

Debate resumed from 6 March 2007, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.26): Before I comment directly on the bill, which the Liberal Party supports in principle subject to a minor amendment, I do wish to formally place on record my concern at the rushed nature of the introduction of this bill.

As with the Financial Management Amendment Bill, this bill was introduced to the Assembly on Tuesday, 6 March and was originally scheduled to be debated in the Assembly on 15 March, just a little over a week later.

Now, fortunately due to delays, the bill has been moved back to this sitting, but I would again urge the government to respect the processes of this Assembly and ensure that bills are not rushed through the Assembly without adequate scrutiny. Again, there was no case put to me for any sense of urgency. Had there been a pressing issue facing the government our cooperation would normally be forthcoming. This was not the case and it led to some issues here and certainly, as I will refer to a little later, I was left, and still remain, somewhat confused on the contradictory information that was provided and which I had to roll with given the short time before this was expected to be voted on.

Despite our concerns about the attempt to rush this bill through the Assembly, which was not successful, the Liberal Party welcomes these changes to the Government Procurement Act, subject to a few concerns which I will talk about in a moment. By and large the changes made reflect sensible practice for government procurement, adopting a guiding principle of value for money in government spending.

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