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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3959 ..

MR WHITECROSS: I ask a supplementary question. I hardly need to observe, Mr Speaker, that the Minister did not answer the question and that people with disabilities are a target group - - -

MR SPEAKER: No preamble.

MR WHITECROSS: My question is: Why is ACTEW talking about developing an EEO program for all staff, not just target groups? Minister, will you, as a matter of urgency, find out why the ACTEW board and ACTEW senior management do not seem to understand that EEO is for target groups, not for all staff?

MR DE DOMENICO: I will find that out; but Mr Whitecross ought to be aware that ACTEW, as I recall, last year or a couple of years ago won another award, or was highly praised for the work that it was doing - - -

Mr Whitecross: For clean water, was it not?

MR DE DOMENICO: For the work that it was doing with Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. On Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, there was an award-winning performance by ACTEW; on people with disabilities, there was an award-winning performance by ACTEW; on environmental matters, there was an award-winning performance by ACTEW. I think we can be duly proud of a lot of the work done by ACTEW, and I would hope that members of the Opposition would also be duly proud of the organisation.

Public Service - Financial Management

MR KAINE: Through you, Mr Speaker, I direct a question to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, over the last couple of days in this place there have been some questions raised about the competence of senior officers in your department in relation to good account keeping. Can you inform the Assembly as to how accounting standards currently compare with those of the previous Labor Government and whether Mr Whitecross was correct when he asserted that there had been "a failure of performance" by senior managers of the Public Service recently?

Mr Berry: We are sensitive little people today.

MRS CARNELL: I am fascinated that Mr Berry says that we are sensitive when our bureaucrats are criticised. The fact is that yes, I am sensitive when our bureaucrats are criticised, because it is so incredibly unfair. Certainly, I would like to thank Mr Kaine for the question, because it gives me an opportunity to set the record straight regarding what I believe, and I am sure what everybody on this side of the house believes, is a very impressive record of improvements that have been made in financial management within the ACT Government.

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