Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 624 ..
MR STEFANIAK: Also, in line with the purchaser-provider model which the Government is pursuing as part of the Public Service reforms, an assessment needs to be made of whether tenancy management should be provided from an outsource provider or whether this function should be carried out entirely within government. If the decision is that the function should be carried out within government, then it is important that the costs of delivering the service are competitive with those which might be charged to the Government by an outside provider, which is something that this Government is all about. If we can do the service in government for the same price or cheaper, why bother, Mr Whitecross? But if we cannot, then maybe it is a good reason to look for somebody else to do it.
The Government has made no decision on the tenancy management function, but work is being undertaken to review the costings and identify any effects which might occur to service delivery should changes be made. Members should note that under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement State housing authorities are required to meet performance indicators in connection with the delivery of tenancy services. These indicators will be compared across Australia. Under the agreement, which it is hoped will be concluded before June this year, regular comparative reporting will flow from June 1997.
Mr Whitecross, I can assure you, the clients of ACT Housing and the community generally that under this Government ACT Housing will continue to provide an extremely high level of service and that many of the reforms that are continuing to take place within Housing - some of which, I must concede, did start with my predecessor, Mr Lamont - such as the very splendid Belconnen pilot project and the recent maintenance survey, are clear evidence of this Government's commitment to maintaining an effective, efficient and caring organisation.
When the current CPSU bans are lifted, that will also assist our housing clients and the Government generally, because they are having a severe effect on the workings of housing staff. I would like to commend those housing staff, who are working at present under considerable difficulty as a result of those bans, for keeping the system going.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, through you, I have a question to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I am sure that you saw a recent article in the Canberra Times which was entitled "Overfed and Underpaid: Auditor Hits at Follett Staff". The article referred to a recent Auditor-General's report that three staff members employed by Ministers in the Follett Government had claimed more than $6,500 in meal allowances between July 1994 and March 1995. Chief Minister, can you confirm to this Assembly that the staff of present members in your Government have not been so overfed out of taxpayers' money since you have been in government?