Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2735 ..
spend money wisely. They will do anything, including spend every cent that they can get their hands on and then come to the Treasurer at the end of the year and ask for more. At the end of that process, of course, they increase taxes so that they can get somewhere near funding the ever-increasing spending.
We have not had those basic answers. It is reasonable that the Assembly ask for those and receive those. And it goes again to the point I made earlier, which is that this is not a transparent budget. This is a cabinet who are saying: “Trust us. We will spend the money how we see fit. We will give you the headlines but we will not give you any of the detail that members would reasonably expect.” This work clearly has not been done. I put on record the opposition’s concern that this set of ministers believes that they can show such contempt to the Assembly by not even giving this basic information to the Assembly, not even giving us the basic information.
I simply cannot believe that much of this work has not already been done. And you do question it sometimes, when you get some of those answers where they say, “We will take X resources.” We heard the Chief Minister come up with his figure last year that it was costing something like $2 million or something to answer questions. What a load of rubbish. We expect that we will get these questions answered. They have not answered them and, as an executive, they have therefore failed and they have failed this budget process.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (3.34): I have a very brief response to this line item. The budget papers indicated that the increase in this year’s expenditure from last year’s outcome of around two per cent comes about because of indexation. The forecast staffing outcome is, in fact, lower than was provided for in last year’s budget. The Greens accept that this is a reasonable appropriation to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the ACT executive which, of course, the Legislative Assembly entrusts with the vital role of the effective governance of the territory.
It is worth considering the vast array of decisions we entrust the executive with the powers to make. Many hundreds of regulations, disallowable instruments and notifiable instruments must be approved by the various ministers and adequate resources must be provided to ensure the best outcomes. We therefore support this appropriation.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.3—Auditor-General—$2,165,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $2,165,000.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.36): Last year the Assembly spent a considerable amount of time during the budget debate talking about the Auditor-General’s Office and the level of resourcing, and that huge amount of time that we spent on it last year reflected the enormous esteem in which the Auditor-General and her office are held in Canberra. I guess from that point of view it was positive. However, it was a bit