Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5527 ..
Questions without notice
Planning—answers to questions on notice
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, in regard to the deletion of an answer to a question on notice, in your written response to the question you answered:
The Government is not prepared to invest the significant time required to address such questions as it would be too resource intensive and time consuming.
Yet today you have apparently changed your answer and the reason it was not answered was because the answer was not good enough. Which story is true?
MR BARR: Obviously, in preparing material in response to questions during an estimates period, within a five-day period, as is required in that process, and given the sheer volume of questions, departments will often, in providing information, do their best to answer questions. But in this instance, because I think Mr Seselja asked this question of all ministers in all portfolio areas, I did have the chance to have a look at my response across a variety of different departments that I have responsibility for. Of course, depending on the level of resources within that department and the way that material is able to be collected in response to what was, I think, a 20-part, 58 subpart question from the Leader of the Opposition, agencies were in differing positions to provide a level of response.
I know that my responses varied. Some were able to provide information in relation to some aspects of the question and indicated with the rest that either data was not collected in that form or it would not be possible to get that information within the time frames required. In looking at the material that the ACT Planning and Land Authority provided, I think there were 14 references—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR BARR: Excuse me, Mr Speaker, there were 14 references in the material prepared—
Mr Coe: You’re struggling, Andrew.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Coe!
MR BARR: There were 14 references within the material prepared in response to that question that indicated that there was not that level of information available. So my response to the member’s question, in referring the member to previous answers, I think is entirely appropriate.
I think there is a legitimate question that we need to consider, the Assembly needs to consider, or perhaps the estimates committee needs to consider in this context. I think