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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2246 ..


Appropriation Bill 2008-2009

[Cognate papers:

Estimates 2008-2009—Select Committee report

Estimates 2008-2009—Select Committee—report—government response]

Debate resumed.

Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations

Proposed expenditure—part 1.11—Department of Territory and Municipal Services—$306,295,000 (net cost of outputs), $172,297,000 (capital injection), $1,762,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $480,354,000

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.37): I have just two more points on tourism. Recommendation 45 of the committee is that the relevant minister provide details of car parking arrangements prior to Floriade commencing. I notice the government response is that it is agreed and that a strategy to help and manage car parking arrangements for Floriade 2008 is being developed and will be provided when finalised. I think that needs to be out fairly quickly. Floriade is not far away, and certainly the space that is currently being sealed is used by regular commuters and there will be some argy-bargy, I suspect, on who uses those places.

The last point I want to make is about the balloon fiasco that the Chief Minister and the minister for tourism have presided over. I made some comments about this yesterday, about the minister’s failure to be open and accountable by allowing public servants to answer for what they had written. I think it is most unfortunate that this has occurred. Surely when particularly a senior public servant puts something in an email, they have reasons for what they have written. To have a senior public servant write, “My minister’s going out on a limb; he has nothing in writing,” I think says that there was a very poor process—something we have seen so often when you recount Tharwa bridge, the power station debacle, the balloon fiasco and the move to Fairburn by the emergency services headquarters. All of these are process fiascos from this government that we can see have almost become training episodes in the Yes, Minister series.

It is unfortunate that the minister refused to allow public servants to inform the committee of why they were worried about these events. We still do not know why the minister was out on a limb. We still do not know why there was nothing in writing at that time, the day before the minister switched ponies at the very last minute. (Second speaking period taken.)

In my second 10 minutes, I will move to sport and recreation, where again this year we see the backflip—money reefed out of sport and rec two years ago is restored, and some of it quite quietly. It is quite interesting that most of the press releases about sport, rec and tourism are in fact about sport and rec. There are a couple of long lists and then there are some lovely paragraphs, but most of the paragraphs talk about


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