Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2106 ..
Mr Seselja has made much of what the committee report does not mention. I would like to note some of the things the dissenting report does not mention. There is no mention of mental health, community health, aged care, rehabilitation or early intervention and prevention. In corrections, there is nothing on programs run in the prison or on recidivism. In disability services, one issue is mentioned—one issue: portable long service leave. No other issues in relation to disability are mentioned. There is nothing on services to students with a disability, which two committees are looking into. What about therapy services and the lack of funding for people with a disability? There is no mention made of these issues.
The committee report has a summary of community group issues; all the community groups that appeared before the committee are mentioned. The Liberals’ report—sorry, I should have said dissenting report, but we know that it is the Liberals’ report—makes no mention of issues from Advocacy for Inclusion, the Tuggeranong Community Council, the Property Council, the ACT parents and citizens group, the Youth Coalition, ACTCOSS, the Gungahlin Community Council, the Australian Education Union or ADACAS. None of those groups have their issues mentioned at all.
Let me wrap up quickly. This process was about developing a collaborative report that allowed all parties to have their say. That is why the approach was taken to list all those issues—because the issues raised by all parties are then there for people to see. Unfortunately, the Liberal members came into this process from the start with a very adversarial stance and literally refused to cooperate. I think we know what it all goes back to. It all stems from that first meeting when Mr Seselja was not given the chair; he basically spent the rest of the entire estimates process carrying on, frankly, like a pouting schoolboy bully.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.58): Mr Speaker, it is quite apparent that the Greens and Labor members of the estimates committee have forgotten what the estimates committee is about. The estimates committee is about scrutiny. We have had three speeches—one from Mr Hargreaves and two from the Greens, from Ms Bresnan and Ms Hunter—and there has not been a single mention of a single flaw in the budget. There is a $4 billion budget and a volume of papers, but apparently the Greens and the Labor member were unable to find—and mention in this place in the last half hour—a single thing wrong with the budget. That is what is wrong with the report.
This was not about scrutiny. It has never been about scrutiny by the Greens, because the Greens are not interested in scrutiny. They will pass this budget, as they did last year. They held up the box and said, “This is a great budget.” Our dilemma was that when we were presented with the chair’s draft, she said, in her own words, “It is a quick reference guide.” And that is all it was. It was not a report; it was the budget index. It did not scrutinise the government. It did not tell us what the chair thought. It did not highlight what the chair believed to be the critical issues. It did not have any analysis from the chair. And it had only a handful of recommendations from the chair, none of which were of great substance.
That is the problem with the committee’s main report. It is not a report. In Ms Hunter’s own words, “It is a quick reference guide.” It is. It is an index. As an