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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2079 ..

Office of Asset Management

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister Assisting the Treasurer, Mr Humphries. Can the Minister confirm that he is now responsible for the day-to-day management of the Office of Asset Management, instead of Mrs Carnell? How will this affect the arrangements put in place by the Chief Minister earlier this year with single departments being responsible to individual Ministers and the claim that there would be, as a result of that, clearer reporting and accountability lines for each Minister?

MR SPEAKER: I think it is a question for you, Treasurer.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, Mr Humphries - - -

Mr Hargreaves: It was not to you, Chief Minister.

MS CARNELL: Excuse me, I can - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! The matter can be passed to another Minister if that is the wish of the Minister in question.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, as I understand it, the question is about the procedures that are in place within my portfolio. That would tend to indicate to me that the question is to me in my portfolio. Mr Humphries was announced in the administrative arrangements as the Minister assisting me in a number of areas. Those areas included information technology, the GBEs, and Treasury. Mr Humphries continues to have that role. No AAOs have been changed, Mr Speaker. Mr Humphries also assists me with regard to asset management, Mr Speaker.

MR HARGREAVES: I wish to ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I do not quite understand that response. I must admit to being somewhat flummoxed by the musical chairs across the chamber; hence, the question. Indeed, I am anxious to clarify the confusion over the demotion of two Ministers.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Hargreaves?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I will ask this of any one of the musical-chair Ministers across the table who want to take it. Chief Minister, can you confirm that you have made these arrangements because of Mr Humphries's expertise in planning and that this is a clear indication that you do not have any confidence in Mr Smyth being able to handle the sensitive issues of land allocation and release?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am absolutely confident of Mr Smyth's ability to handle his portfolio areas brilliantly. I am absolutely confident that Mr Humphries will do his job brilliantly. I am absolutely confident that all of my Ministers will do their jobs a damned sight better than that mob would.

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