Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 February 2011) . . Page.. 169 ..
MS LE COUTEUR: Have you looked at refurbishing existing vacant offices, such as is happening across the road at the old ActewAGL building?
Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, before the Chief Minister rises, Mr Speaker, we have just received, yesterday, an interim report into the standing committee’s review or inquiry into the provision of government office accommodation. I am just seeking a ruling as to whether questions about that inquiry, which is ongoing, are appropriate.
Mrs Dunne: It’s not ongoing; it’s complete.
Mr Hargreaves: It is ongoing; it is not complete, Mr Speaker. Mrs Dunne, yet again, shows she knows not what she speaks about.
MR SPEAKER: Let us just stick to the point of order, Mr Hargreaves.
Mr Hargreaves: It is an interim report which was given to the Assembly yesterday and the review of the inquiry is ongoing. I wonder, with respect, Ms Le Couteur—I do not wish to appear to be obstructive—about the appropriateness.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, standing order 117(e) says:
… questions shall not refer to proceedings in committee not yet published or anticipate the outcome of a committee inquiry;
I do not believe that Ms Le Couteur’s questions transgress either of those requirements.
Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, with respect, I might suggest to you that, whilst the question may not, the response may very well anticipate the result of that inquiry. So I would ask you to reconsider your ruling, please.
MR SPEAKER: The rules are about the questions, Mr Hargraves. The question is in order. Chief Minister.
MR STANHOPE: The full range of issues and possibilities have been considered through this extensive, long process. As I indicated, it is a four-year process. If the question is “do we keep a rolling assessment or analysis of vacant buildings?” then I cannot answer that question. But, yes, in the context of what housing options or potentiality should we consider, of course we have considered our traditional position of renting the majority of our accommodation. We own some and we rent some. It is probably fair to say that we rent a majority of the accommodation in which our staff work. So that is another consideration.
In relation to the buildings that we own, we have public servants in a number of buildings, most particularly Macarthur House and buildings here within the city, but we rent the majority of the accommodation which we utilise and, through an assessment of our forward needs, we do of course look at what accommodation is available and what might be available. To the extent the question goes to whether we