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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1695 ..

Part 4 - ACT Executive

Proposed expenditure - ACT Executive, $2,572,000 (comprising payments on behalf of the Territory)

MR QUINLAN (8.45): I was going to make the comment, Mr Speaker, that - - -

Ms Carnell: But you have lost your papers.

MR QUINLAN: Yes. I have just found them. It is okay. I do not have people bringing me notes. In another world, in another place, this figure might have been different. It would appear to me to be a somewhat understated figure. If one trawls through the budget paper one will find the support for Ministers under the heading "Policy advice et cetera and support". It tots up to about $24m, an average of about $4.7m per Minister. If I like, I can nominate them. It is about $5.6m for Ms Carnell, $6.1m for Mr Moore, $2.3m for Mr Smyth, but he has not got any policy, it is all over there anyway, $4.1m for Mr Humphries, not bad for a Minister for not a lot, and $3m for Mr Stefaniak. In the next budget we should be able to aggregate those figures under each Minister and under the headings so that we have a fair idea of what it is costing.

It has been a source of bemusement since I came to this place to watch just how much support there is for the process and to watch the bevy of people who sit outside. I have previously suggested the implementation of a salary cap. It might be a good idea. I just wish to register the fact that I believe this figure is substantially understated.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (8.47): The fact is that the way that we operate our Executive budget is very similar to the way it is done in other States and federally. Policy advice and so on at departmental level is not under the control of the Minister. It would be fine if Mr Quinlan is suggesting that all of a sudden $24m, or whatever, ends up in the Executive budget. What that basically means is that the five Ministers - - -

Mr Moore: I will actually get more staff than Mr Stanhope after all.

MS CARNELL: Excuse me, you will have as many staff as you want, Mr Moore. What Mr Quinlan is saying is wrong. The Executive budget is the budget under the control of the Ministers. It is under the control of the Executive. This is all the money we have at our disposal for our staff, or for our entertainment, or for the operation of the Executive itself. It does not include, but Mr Quinlan is saying it should, such things as DLOs and policy advice. You could move it in here, and Mr Quinlan is suggesting that we should. But if we did, Mr Quinlan, the interesting part is that the five Ministers as they exist right now certainly would have control over a significantly greater budget. I would have assumed that this Assembly would not have been impressed with that approach, but, obviously, tonight I stand corrected. Happy to have $24m, Mr Quinlan.

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