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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3526 ..


glaring advertisement in a News Ltd paper, which I thought was interesting given this government’s views on News Ltd.

Most ministers have communications officers working in their directorates. For instance, ACT Health has 28.75 communications officers. Even with that, they cannot actually get much done in relation to good PR for the hospital.

As I have touched on before, the influence of UnionsACT and the CFMMEU is legion in this place. I refer to a published article in the Canberra Times of 20 July last year titled “Unions ACT moves to bring ministers into line”. It referred to a letter from Alex White to all Labor MLAs asking them to inform UnionsACT if they planned to meet with the MBA. The MBA is an organisation of some considerable standing across the country but suddenly it has become a proscribed organisation for Labor members. Since then, those opposite, including the minister, have given the MBA the cold shoulder.

However, UnionsACT and the CFMMEU have been free to meet with the minister over procurement issues and the so-called local jobs code. This means that procurement policy has been unduly influenced by UnionsACT and the CFMMEU.  Recently the CFMMEU distributed a pamphlet in Kurrajong highly critical of Minister Stephen-Smith. As Mr Coe noted yesterday, Minister Stephen-Smith did nothing to defend herself about this.

These are some of the issues that go to the tone of this government, to the tone of this executive, which is led by Minister Barr. When you look at the expenditure in the executive, most of that goes not for the benefit of ACT taxpayers but to the benefit of the union machine.

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (11.51): I thank Mrs Dunne for that thoroughly constructive contribution to debate in the Assembly this morning, the character assessments and all. Thank you; I will reflect on your words, Mrs Dunne, and give them the consideration they are due. On a day when the House of Representatives appears to be curtailed because there is not a Prime Minister and there is not a functioning Australian government, to get a lecture from Mrs Dunne about how to run an executive government is pretty extraordinary.

The Leader of the House in the House of Representatives has had to move that the federal parliament shut down. The Liberal Party is in such chaos just three kilometres from here, so I take lectures from Liberal Party MLAs on how to run executive government with all the credibility that party can muster at this point in time around how to run a government.

In relation to the specific question Mrs Dunne asked around the executive budget, members would be aware that in the past when the executive has expanded there is a transfer of appropriation from the Office of the Legislative Assembly to the executive and that covers part of the increased costs with an additional minister. The executive has the capacity to reorganise its internal budgets in order to meet additional


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