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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3241 ..


I do have some concerns. Members of the legal profession do raise with me the efficiency of the Legal Aid Commission and I think that the actions in taking the rent paid in advance and turning it into capital expenditure, rather than turning it into recurrent expenditure and providing services to clients, was a retrograde step. I think that it does not reflect all that well on the Legal Aid Commission.

The Attorney-General does need to advise whether he approved of this funding and this treatment of the cashed-out incentive payment and to justify why this money was not spent on legal services, which, after all, is what the Legal Aid Commission was established to do.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.27—Public Trustee for the ACT—$669,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $669,000.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (1:12 am): I would like to very briefly note the proactive and strategic approach the Office of the Public Trustee takes to its business management. The openness and transparency of this office is a model for other government agencies. I am very impressed with the attitude of the Public Trustee to give fulsome answers to questions of the estimates committee and in subsequently answering questions on notice and questions taken on notice. These answers showed that the Public Trustee is an experienced, efficient and much valued service provider to the community. I commend the officers of the Public Trustee’s office for their sterling support for the people of the ACT.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Total appropriated to agencies—$2,367,825,000 (net cost of outputs), $1,031,798,000 (capital injection) and $475,943,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $3,875,566,000.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.28—Treasurer’s advance—$29,000,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (1:14 am): Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker.

Ms Gallagher: You couldn’t resist.

MR SMYTH: You were challenging us to speak. You were disappointed we did not earlier, and now that we do, you are still disappointed. The Treasurer’s advance is a hidden component of the annual budget, yet it is very significant because it has enabled additional spending of tens of millions of dollars. Once again, in 2010 we see the Labor government resorting to a panic driven end-of-financial-year spending binge to utilise the Treasurer’s advance, committing nearly $19 million in June 2010 to a range of projects and departments.


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