Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 22 November 2007) . . Page.. 3733 ..
the extent that the opposition is beating away from its doors the political geniuses that determine its political strategy, I presume the questions were designed to actually demonstrate the fact that I have got no idea what is in the second appropriation bill because I do not have my estimates committee papers with me—which, in fact, I do not—in which far more helpful material in relation to the questions that you ask could have been obtained. I think it is interesting and illustrative of the attitude of the opposition to question time. The fact that you ask these questions today, when I do not have a set of papers on the second appropriation bill with me and I am going on—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR STANHOPE: These are the papers that I would normally bring to question time. It actually suggests, of course, that the Liberal Party are not interested in the answers to any of these questions. You are not interested in the answers at all. You simply ask them for the purpose of making some obscure political point.
Mr Seselja: It is because he does not know the answer.
MR STANHOPE: I do know the answer. I have just given the answer. The answer is that we do not stand still. We do not actually put a budget to bed, as we did for the 2007-08 budget some months ago, in April-May, and say, “Well, that’s it. We won’t think about the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner for another year until we develop next year’s budget.” We continue. It is a process that is very active, which we maintain.
During the period that the budget was finalised and now, a period of some six months later, we, across offices and within cabinet, held a number of discussions around appropriate levels of support for the Occupational Health and Safety Commission and the Office of Regulatory Services. We arrived at a new policy position in relation to the range of functions that we believe it will be appropriate to fund. This appropriation of an additional $425,000 in the coming financial year reflects those decisions of the government.
Occupational Health and Safety Council
MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Minister, you recently announced the appointment of the deputy chief executive of the Chief Minister’s Department to the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Council as a “member representing employers”. I understand that this person was chosen as a representative of the ACT public service in its capacity as an employer. At the same time there are already representatives of the ACT government on this council. Minister, why have you appointed a public servant to this council rather than a person who works in the private sector in the ACT as is custom and practice?
MR BARR: My understanding is that this is a continuation of an appointment of a representative from within the ACT public service on the council. In fact, there are other employer representatives on the council that do represent employers in the