Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2095 ..
issues that were raised have also been picked up by the committee and included in recommendations that have been made in the report that I have just tabled.
I would like to thank my fellow committee members. It is disappointing that we had a dissenting report and that we did not have the full participation of all members in the process. But I say, to those who did participate, thank you for your input and the work that you put into this exercise.
I would also like to thank the other members of this place who participated in the public hearings. There were, obviously, some more tumultuous times that occurred or robust points in the public hearings, but I think that, overall, it was quite a smooth process. Certainly, as chair, my role is to facilitate the hearings, to ensure that people have a chance to raise issues—firstly, members of the committee and, after that, other members of this place. I was very clear that I would keep speaking lists to ensure that people were noted down and were given a go.
I would note that, if people go and check the Hansard—and you might want to use the estimates committee’s report to be able to follow that through—they will see that there was free rein at times with respect to being able to follow a particular issue at greater length. If we go to the issue of the new healthcare reforms and the issue around GST, this involved something like 44 pages of Hansard, which is an example to show that people were not restrained but were able to follow through and pick up on issues that were dear to their heart.
Obviously, as chair, it is my role to ensure that everybody gets a go. Not everybody has the same priority issues. It is also important that, when we have called in officials and we have a schedule, we ensure that we get through all of those output classes, give respect to those officials who have attended and show that we will give them time. (Time expired.)
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.18): I thank Ms Hunter for her words. This is a report that, unfortunately, I think is a mile wide and an inch deep. It is most notable for what is not in it as much as for what is in it, and I will get to that in a moment in terms of what is in it, what is not in it and why we felt the need to deliver a very comprehensive dissenting report as an alternative to the Greens-Labor view of the world as expressed in this report.
Ms Hunter devoted a lot of time to Mr Smyth’s and my dissenting report. We saw last year Ms Hunter stand on budget day holding the budget above her head and saying: “This is a great budget. This is a great budget for Canberra. This is a great budget for the Greens.” She tied herself closely to the government’s budgetary process and the budget they delivered last year. It turns out that that was not a great budget, and that became apparent as the estimates committee did its work last year.
I do note a very significant difference from last year in relation to the estimates committee doing its work—that is, last year Ms Le Couteur, in particular, spent time analysing the budget and critiquing the government and the budget, along with the opposition. That led, of course, to us being able to deliver a report which contained a lot of criticism of the government, as you would expect from a report that was looking at the government’s spending measures and looking at a government that has so