Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1506 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
Then, of course, we still get the different ways that the financial information is presented. It was different again this year, which makes a comparison between financial years more difficult. It is possible but it is extremely difficult. It is very difficult for people in the community, and very difficult for members here as well.
There is one other thing I would like to comment on - I find it a bit amusing, if anything - and that is how wonderfully sweet Mrs Carnell is to Mr Rugendyke in his first year. I really cannot help but remember in my first year when we were asking questions about how systems worked. We were not treated nearly so kindly. I think that was because we were not needed by the Government. Now, why would I think that? In fact, I can recall one particular question that Ms Horodny asked about how budgets worked. I think it was even talked about at a speech by the Chief Minister. If not, it was certainly widely known publicly that we had asked, or Ms Horodny had asked, that question. Anyway, it just goes to show the difference it makes if you are needed by the Government. One of the other issues - - -
Mr Kaine: Needed and loved.
MS TUCKER: Needed and what?
Mr Kaine: Loved.
MS TUCKER: Mr Kaine says, "Needed and loved". Of course, Mr Osborne was let off really kindly as well because, even though he has been here for three years, he has never been on an Estimates Committee. So he gets let off, too. It really is quite funny.
There is a general comment I would like to make about the process and the involvement of the community. I think that was a very good thing. I support the recommendation that that continue. I think it was very enlightening.
I also did not have a problem with how Mr Berry chaired. It was different, as I said, in style from Ms McRae, but I thought we did get through a lot of business. I think the Estimates Committee can be seen as a place where you do gather information. It is not all adversarial. You can get a greater understanding of processes and how individual departments work, and I think it is quite appropriate that the Estimates Committee is used that way as well. That is a positive and constructive thing, in fact, because it helps us all if we are all informed about how these issues are dealt with.
Most of the recommendations that came out of this report are sensible. I have always raised the issue of competition policy in support of concerns about that. I was supportive of the recommendations about the SACS award. I am obviously concerned about the Institute of the Arts funding cut. I was very concerned about the process. I did not cover that in my last speech on that process, so I will cover it now. I well remember asking the Education Minister for his view of the services in his department which the School of Music is providing and which would fall, and asking him whether he considered that to be a failure. The reason I asked that was because the heads of the School of Music and the