Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2760 ..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
individual budgets and the individual annual reports. I think that it would take a fair amount of the angst out of it and I think it would be a very positive step to move towards that, but I would not like to pre-empt what the committee would recommend.
I have to say that the whole of this year's estimates process was different from the past. Although I had not been a member of an estimates committee, I had been down and got involved in the process. I think I prefer this year's model, where we did not go line by line but did look at different issues. It was certainly different. There was some criticism, but it was most enlightening and enjoyable at times. But I do question whether the current process of having a select committee to look at the budget and the annual reports is the preferred model. I think that, perhaps, we would be better served by having the different portfolio committees looking at their respective budgets, because that is how we do go through the estimates process.
As I said, Mr Speaker, I do not think there is anything overly objectionable in the recommendations. If the Government knew what members wanted to have in some of those recommendations, perhaps they would have some grounds to complain. I think that it is quite funny, given that I am about to present a report of the scrutiny of Bills committee where we have a shot at our legal adviser, the Attorney-General, albeit a minor one. I find the Government's attitude in this regard, given that we really had only a minor glance at the public servants involved, quite intriguing. I supported all the recommendations in the report, Mr Speaker, because I do not think there is anything in there that is too outrageous. I am a little surprised at the dissenting report of Mr Hird, given what he said in the committee. I understand that he had not had his riding orders by the time we looked at the report; but, reading his dissenting report, there must be two Harold Hirds running around, Mr Speaker.
Mr Hargreaves: Oh, no!
MR OSBORNE: "Oh, no", somebody says. My understanding from the committee deliberations was that Mr Hird had problems with only a couple of things. I see that his dissenting report is three pages in length. I am not surprised at this Liberal's dissenting report, Mr Speaker. Having been involved in the process and with the recommendations, I have no problem with the report.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.26): Mr Speaker, I would like to make a comment from the perspective of the Executive on the fact that the members of the Executive did not get a copy of the report prior to its being released to the media. That is not in line with normal Assembly procedure. I think it is, at the very least, inappropriate. It certainly is at odds with the approach that we usually take. As to the recommendation - - -
Mr Berry: I don't believe you. I'll bet you had a copy somewhere.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, how could we have a copy if Mr Berry did not give us one? It simply is not acceptable behaviour. I think it is important to read into Hansard what the select committee is supposed to do. The Legislative Assembly resolved - remember that this is what all members of the Assembly resolved - that: