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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 June 2021) . . Page.. 1882 ..


As I said in my speech, which I am not sure she listened to, we welcome that scrutiny. If the Auditor-General chooses to conduct that audit, we welcome that, but not one of us in this place can direct the Auditor-General to conduct an audit. The Auditor-General can reveal a proposed program, can ask for comment and we can suggest, but no-one one can direct the Auditor-General to do this..

Despite what Ms Lee was going on about—which I am still honestly baffled by—there is no guarantee the Auditor-General is ever going to review this. I welcome it if the Auditor-General does so, and I have written to him on that basis. But because there is no guarantee and because there are still questions, I want to reflect the heart of Ms Castley’s motion and note that we are doing a review regardless of whether the Auditor-General conducts his own review.

Ms Lee said that I have avoided questions for days. She has got to be joking. Anyone can see across all of my social media that I spent hours and hours and hours responding to people. I have conducted two radio interviews today and a press conference. I have given a 32-page ministerial statement, as she noted, providing an incredible amount of detail and answering as many questions as I possibly could. To make those sorts of accusations about me that are frankly untrue is unbefitting of a leader of a party.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.53): I had not planned to speak to this motion, but I am compelled to point out a few inconsistencies in what we heard so far. As Ms Cheyne commented on Ms Lee perhaps not reading her amendment, I remind Ms Cheyne that she should read Ms Castley’s motion in the first instance, which is that we request the Auditor-General to undertake an audit. Anyone can request an audit. Ms Cheyne may recall—she has been here for more than one term now—that the Auditor-General writes to all members of this place asking for suggestions for audits. The Auditor-General writes to all committees of this place asking for suggestions. This is a common piece of work, and anyone can do that.

The Assembly itself can request an audit. That is not directing the Auditor-General; it is not compelling the Auditor-General. It is a perfectly legitimate and allowable request under the Auditor-General’s Act, which Ms Cheyne has tried to reference, but she obviously has not quite grasped the intricacies involved here. Ms Castley is making a very legitimate request about referring the matter to the Auditor-General and requesting an audit.

I have not read the words “compel”, “direct” or “order” the Auditor-General to conduct a review, because that would be inappropriate and no-one in this place would do that. Perhaps Ms Cheyne feels she is able to do that, but that is not what this motion says.

Rather than trying to criticise imagined or made-up wording in the amendment, perhaps Ms Cheyne could read it and constrain herself to the words in the motion. She is trying to muddy the waters by bringing in something completely unrelated and irrelevant. I do not want to use the word “misleading”, but she is trying to say we are


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