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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2010) . . Page.. 2111 ..


That is very laudable—if it were not for the gravity of the evidence brought before us. It is a watering down. It is a slap in the face for those people. These are extraordinary recommendations. The next recommendation is:

The Committee recommends that the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services ensure that kinship carers are able to access foster carers training modules, should they wish to do so, until specific kinship carers training becomes available.

I think that is quite laudable. But, again, it ignores the gravity of the evidence brought by the people at the coalface—my constituents, people who pay my salary, who came to this place pleading for help. And what did they get from John Hargreaves, Meredith Hunter and Amanda Bresnan? They got the brush-off.

There are substantial recommendations in the dissenting comments. These are the substantial recommendations, by contrast, because we in the Liberal Party take the evidence of these people—these people at the front line, doing the hardest job, possibly the hardest job in this town—seriously.

Let us look at the great analysis and just take one place; for example, the courts and tribunals, output class 3 in JACS. The government has put forward a substantial proposal for change, which has been roundly criticised. What have we got? We have got two numbered paragraphs and a few dot points, which amount to slightly more than half a page, which tell us what the minister says. They do not refer to any of the questions asked, the line of questioning by Mr Seselja and me which highlighted the criticisms. All they do is tell us what the minister says. Again, it is a symptom of what this report by the majority of the committee is about: it is about nothing more than putting together a litany of what is in the budget.

There is no analysis of the minister’s proposal. There is no questioning as to whether this is an appropriate expenditure. What estimates committees of this place have done for 20 years, during the history of this Assembly, has been to scrutinise, criticise and make recommendations about whether it is appropriate to spend money in particular areas—until along came Meredith Hunter, who last year became an apologist for the budget and was embarrassed so this year decided, just to make sure there was no criticism of the government, that she would become the chairman of the committee and then she would have control of the report.

Ms Hunter interjecting—

MRS DUNNE: It is not about who gets paid; it is about what you actually do for your money. The person who is the chairman of the committee has control of the report—and the report that this member had control of is a complete departure from everything that has been done in this place over 20 years. It shows no sense of history, no understanding of how this Assembly and this estimates committee have worked.

What do we have here? We have recommendations that the admin and procedure committee help Ms Hunter out, so that we can come up with a different approach to estimates, because she does not like what has happened for the past 20 years; she


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