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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1184 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

We believe strongly that, whenever there is a significant change in the Appropriation Bill approved by this Assembly, this Assembly, Mr Speaker, should be the body that changes or varies that appropriation. It should not be done, when there is a significant change, simply by the Chief Minister signing a piece of paper. I am horrified, shocked and amazed that those opposite do not agree with that approach.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitecross) adjourned.


MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 46, I seek leave to make a short statement.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I claim to have been misrepresented. Mrs Carnell, during the course of her speech, made certain claims that, as a member of the Opposition, I had some doubt about the estimates committee process or believed that the estimates committee process was incapable of dealing with the matter which was before it in relation to Appropriation Bill (No. 2).

Mrs Carnell: I did not use the word "incapable" once.

Mr De Domenico: No; get it right.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Proceed, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: They would be able to get leave under standing order 46, too, if they wanted to. Mr Speaker, I want to make it clear to this Assembly that I have the utmost confidence in the estimates committee process. I always have had. I believe that it does expose in some cases the frailty of government and the frailty of the bureaucracy. On this particular occasion, Mr Speaker, it has clearly exposed the frailty of the Government's argument in relation to Appropriation Bill (No. 2). I think, for those reasons, the estimates committee process has to be endorsed. For Mrs Carnell to say that the Opposition in some way did not have an estimates committee process or some other committee process available to it in relation to procedures which were conducted under the Audit Act is entirely spurious. The fact of the matter is that the Assembly could decide on a committee investigation of this particular matter.

Mrs Carnell: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. The member is debating the issue. This is not a personal explanation.

MR BERRY: I have been given leave.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I do uphold that. Mr Berry, make your personal explanation.

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