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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3797 ..

MS McRAE (continuing):

at and where the Territory might be headed. So, I just wanted to reiterate the importance of that recommendation amongst all the recommendations which were the product of a unanimous report, with quite obvious strong differences of opinion, which were compromised on and dealt with in the spirit of trying to get a full Assembly view.

Contrary to a lot of opinion that is expressed, it is not the Estimates Committee's role to reject a budget. It is the Estimates Committee's role to raise the concerns that the estimates for the budget may raise for the Assembly. I think that the Estimates Committee has taken this job extremely seriously and, under very trying new challenges, has done a very thorough job. I again commend my fellow Estimates Committee members and the committee secretary for their work, and I further commend this report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report on the Appropriation Bill 1996-97 - Government Response

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (9.14): Mr Speaker, I present the Government's response to the Select Committee on Estimates report on the Appropriation Bill 1996-97. I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: I would like to thank the committee for its examination of Government expenditure and revenue estimates for 1996-97. The Government supports either in principle or in full all but one of the recommendations. Four recommendations will be delivered through annual reports and ownership agreements rather than the budget papers. Many of the recommendations of the committee will be achieved through the implementation of the Government's financial management reforms.

I will not respond to all of the recommendations in tabling this report, as they are outlined in my response, Mr Speaker. I am confident that everybody will take the opportunity to make further comments when we debate the Appropriation Bill. I would, however, like to take the opportunity to comment on some of the issues raised. While acknowledging that this transitionary year has presented some difficulty for the committee in relation to comparative information, I note that the committee has not expressed any concerns about the financial management reforms themselves. Mr Speaker, I find this very interesting because during the debate this afternoon and this evening you really would not have known that the committee had accepted the financial management reforms totally and had not suggested that there were any fundamental problems with them at all, Mr Speaker.

Mr Berry: The major problem with it - - -

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