Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1507 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
School of Art had been sent by Chief Minister's on a wild goose chase talking to officials of his department to see whether they could get some arrangement whereby services would be bought. But, of course, there was no money given to Education for that. In fact, the Minister did not even seem to be aware of it. It is, once again, one of the really unacceptable ways that that whole issue was handled.
I want to mention Floriade. I am really amazed that the tourism experts in this town did not know that maybe people had sold prepackaged tours which would have included a visit to Floriade without charge. I think it is quite appropriate that that should be raised in this report.
I also am very supportive of the concerns about behaviour management and education. It is not a recommendation of this report that was fully supported, but I do share the concerns of members who felt that there has been a rather unfair blow to education as a result of this budget. I made that point in estimates as well. The service purchasing inquiry, which was successfully moved today, was reported on in this report, which is good.
The recommendations I mention now are particularly important. The Tenants Advice Service and the Welfare Rights and Legal Service recommendation is very important as well, and I will look with interest at the report that was tabled today on how that legislation is going. The issue of children in the ACT who are missing out on representation in Family Court matters is another very important matter that was raised. The insurance levy is another process that is practically unbelievable and very worrying. I am very supportive of that being raised. Of course, the fare structure of ACTION is another matter close to my heart. I was focusing on figures in my questioning on Tidbinbilla and was very alarmed to see just how much money is going to have to be raised to repay the loan that has been taken out for the visitors centre. I was also glad to see the issue of water raised. It is very important that we get some kind of approach to the water issues and ensure that any region, including our own, has the absolute highest standard and best practice in terms of water management. (Extension of time granted)
In conclusion, I do hope to see a positive response to the recommendations in this report. Obviously, after hearing the Government this afternoon, it does not seem very likely. I would like to say to Mr Rugendyke and to Mr Osborne that they did support these recommendations. I believe they need to give very serious consideration to what sort of government they are supporting here if it does not respond in a positive way to these recommendations.
MR BERRY (5.38), in reply: There was some complaint by members opposite, in particular from Mr Moore and, I think, the Minister for Urban Services and the Chief Minister, about the Estimates Committee looking at matters which were not strictly dollar matters. Well, that is not surprising because the Estimates Committee process here is fashioned from that which existed in the Senate before it was restructured. I will read to you a paragraph from Odgers' Australian Senate Practice. It says: