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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3225 ..


important issue of the Shepherd Centre; again, that was “opposition for opposition’s sake”.

It was the same with the Barr backflip. Just the day before the budget, drop the issue: “I’m going to roll over. I got it wrong. I’ve been rolled by my colleagues. I know now that I got it wrong, but we will just drop it quietly away.” It was the same with the Shepherd Centre: lose the debate on the Wednesday, come into this place on the Thursday. To give him his due, he did come in and say that he would reverse the decision. But it was another example of where Mr Barr’s starting position was that, because the Liberals oppose something, it is opposition for opposition’s sake. But he does cave in, and maybe in the future he will be known as the “roll Barr” because he rolls over under pressure. He stands up, he gets all hairy chested and says, “I’m not backing down; I’m not giving in,” but then he rolls over under pressure, caves in, and he is now the automatic teller machine of the ACT, apparently.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.20—ACT Insurance Authority—$10,000,000 (capital injection), totalling $10,000,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12:14 am): We can do this quickly and efficiently, but, if the Treasurer wants, I can do the long version of the speech if she wants to stay for 20 minutes on each of the remaining lines. Given the hour, I will endeavour to be brief. The Insurance Authority has been and continues to be an agency that is contributing in a quiet but effective way to enhancing government across the ACT. Of course, there was a significant change during the last financial year with the former general manager, Peter Matthews, moving on, and we acknowledge Mr Matthews’s contribution and his own quiet but extremely professional way in dealing with a range of very complex insurance matters in recent years. I vividly recall the way he handled the aftermath of the January 2003 bushfire disaster. His confidence in explaining such complex matters as reinsurance and the ACT’s insurance policy was very reassuring. I congratulate him on his time there at the authority and the good job that he did. In saying that, I need to acknowledge John Fletcher, who has taken over from Mr Matthews as general manager of the authority.

I would like to comment on a couple of matters relating to the activities of the authority: firstly, I commend the authority on its continuing efforts to enhance the capacity of the ACT government departments and agencies to manage their risk. This includes developing risk strategies and identifying risk matters, particularly those that may lead to claims and hence establish liabilities for the ACT government. The authority is encouraging departments and agencies to collaborate with the authority in seeking to mitigate risk. Risk management has been an area of management that has tended to slip under the radar, so to speak, with this government. In later years claims can emerge that were not anticipated, and this can lead to a significant cost to the government. It is gratifying that risk management is now recognised as an important area for management.

The second matter concerns capital injections for the authority. I raised this matter in the estimates hearing. In 2009-10 the authority budgeted for an injection of $10 million, but only $5 million of this was required, and $5 million was returned to


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