Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4413 ..
I do want to make sure that we do not have a situation where, because we put March as the reporting date, the minister comes out earlier than that, in January or February, with a decision on one of the four options, thereby wasting the committee’s time and essentially breaching the will of the Assembly. I want it on the record that we should not allow that to occur, and I will be seeking leave.
Amendment agreed to.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.18), by leave: I move the amendment circulated in my name:
“(6) calls on the ACT Government not to make a formal decision on any of the four options currently being considered by the Government until such time that the Committee has tabled its findings in the Assembly.”.
As I indicated before, it is pretty clear that the minister has followed her own course on this. She has tried to ignore scrutiny, tried to refute any suggestion that she should be open about this process. We saw that when I moved my first motion in 2009. The first motion I moved was in about June, I think. It called for a full business case to be tabled and we never saw that. In October when I asked for this to be forwarded to the Auditor-General and in last sitting period when I asked for certain documents to be tabled, she did not do that.
I think that there has been a reticence from the minister, and it is pretty clear, to follow any sort of desire for openness and accountability. My fear, on reflection after listening to her speech, is that what she may do is actually come up with a government decision on the four options that are being considered before the committee has a chance to table its results.
I am not sure of the four options, and some of them would need an appropriation bill. That would essentially result in this coming before the Assembly anyway. But I am not sure if option 1 would require an appropriation bill. My fear is that she would, in essence, make that decision before the committee has had a chance to table its findings and allow what is clearly the will of the Assembly, which is an opportunity to scrutinise what the government is doing and be involved in the process so we can participate in that process.
My amendment calls on the government not to make a formal decision on any of the four options currently being considered by the government until such time as the committee has tabled its findings in the Assembly. I think it is quite clear by virtue of the fact that we are, as an Assembly, unanimously supporting this motion that it is entirely reasonable that the committee should have its chance to actually table its findings before the government scurries off and makes the decision.