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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3961 ..

Ms Follett: Never, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw the remark "futile as that may be".

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I will leave it to you to judge my point of order.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw the remark.

Ms Follett: I withdraw any imputation you may feel.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. You have a point of order?

Ms Follett: My point of order, Mr Speaker, is that Mrs Carnell, contrary to our standing orders, appears to be debating the answer to a question.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mrs Carnell is referring to extracts from the Hansard.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, yesterday - when I was here, Mr Berry - when Mr Whitecross gave his personal explanation he said that he did not draw any conclusions from the draft Auditor-General's report that he quoted from on Tuesday. For the record, let me remind Mr Whitecross of what he said on Tuesday. He did not simply ask for an explanation of the matters raised by the Auditor-General; he asked me to explain how my department had "failed so badly" and what I was doing to "ensure that such failures of performance are not repeated in the future". If that is not drawing conclusions, I simply do not know what is. That is a straight quote from the Hansard. Is this a new credo that Mr Whitecross has brought back from abroad? Do not worry about misrepresenting the Auditor-General; do not worry about undermining the integrity of the audit process; do not worry about checking your facts; just dump on public servants and then say you did not do it. I am sorry, Mr Whitecross; it is on the public record. You did do it.

Leaving politics aside for one moment, let us have a bit of a stroll down memory lane. Mr Whitecross, of course, apart from being out of the country and missing the post-budget debate, is also a newcomer to this Assembly. When he made his comments on Tuesday, possibly he had not read Auditor-General reports from previous years. In the seven years since self-government, the accounts of ACT Treasury, or OFM as it is now known, have been unqualified only twice. Guess which years, Mr Whitecross. The last two years, the two years of this Government.

Ms McRae: You wait.

MRS CARNELL: That is actually true. When your party was in power, Mr Whitecross, the accounts were qualified every year. This is not conjecture or misrepresentation or a political spin.

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