Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 2782 ..
MS FOLLETT (continuing):
I know that the Chief Minister has made statements about reducing the number of cars. I would certainly support those statements. I look forward to the Government reporting in due course, if they accept this report of the Public Accounts Committee, on a rather more zealous approach to limiting the use of what is a significant community resource. There are very good reasons. Mr Speaker, first of all, government cars are not free. The cost of acquiring them, the cost of fuel and the cost of maintenance and upkeep are borne by the ACT community. I do not believe that agencies are suffering sufficiently through their budgets in their own use of government cars, and it may be that we need to make some adjustment to how those costs are borne by agencies. There are also very significant environmental reasons for the ACT Government setting a good example to the rest of the community in being as frugal as possible in its use of private passenger cars.
I have been interested to have another look at this issue. I certainly hope that the Government is able to achieve some reductions and some greater efficiencies in this area. I express again particular concern about ACTEW's actions, for which we have yet to receive any explanation from them. I know that this is an issue that Mr Kaine has previously expressed a great deal of interest in and certainly did throughout the committee's examination of the audit report. I know that Ms Horodny also has a particular interest in this area, perhaps more in the environment area than in the efficiency area; but it is a concern that, in my experience, is shared by the whole Canberra community, and rightly so. I believe it is time that some rather more drastic action was taken. Successive governments have tried a gently, gently approach, a "let the managers manage" approach; and on all the evidence that we have before us it has not worked terribly well. So perhaps it is time to get a little more hard nosed about this issue. If that is the Government's intention, then they have my support.
Debate (on motion by Mr Moore) adjourned.
Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 5 of 1995
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition): I present Report No. 10 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 5, 1995 - Annual Management Report for the year ended 30 June 1995". Mr Speaker, this is a brief review of the Auditor-General's annual report for 1994-95. It has been dealt with in other places, so I will not speak on it.