Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2767 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
the last financial year; that is entirely appropriate for consideration. Bruce Stadium and the Old Weetangera Road access; the Bruce Stadium redevelopment is mentioned in some detail in an annual report and it is entirely appropriate to investigate that. Bruce Stadium purchase; the same again. The Feel the Power of Canberra campaign; that was certainly in the last financial year. ACTEW; again, that was in the last financial year. Hall/Kinlyside; the Chief Minister might like to forget that, but that was in the last financial year, too. Copland College. Let me think, Copland College has been around for more than 12 months; that must have been in the last financial year. The Official Visitor's report; these are very important recommendations. They were certainly in relation to the last financial year. Tuition fees for trainees and apprentices; that, of course, was a budget decision which was initiated during the last financial year. For police checks it is the same.
Need I go on, Mr Speaker? Contrary to the Chief Minister's fatuous and pathetic argument, this committee has focused entirely on the activities of the Government in the last financial year, and that is exactly what it is here for. Instead of the Chief Minister saying, "I disagree with your comments; therefore, I am going to abolish you", she might engage a little more constructively in dealing with each and every one of these recommendations.
Mr Speaker, there is one final point I want to make, and that is in relation to the comment, the silly comment, that the Chief Minister made in relation to recommendation 17, when she said that this recommendation, because it referred to the courts, was a breach of the separation of powers principle. What a stupid comment! This recommendation says, "When you report, is it possible for you to divide up the way you report on your activities?". It is not an attempt to interfere in the decisions of a court; it is not an attempt to influence a judgment of a court, which is what the separation of powers principle is all about. It is not even about threatening the independence of the court. All it is doing is saying, "When you report on your performance measures, can you create a new category so that we can see what you are doing?". If that is a breach of the separation of powers principle, Kate Carnell should join the Labor Party, because it is just as bizarre. Until members of the Government come up with some more credible arguments, they should sit tight and read the report in detail, instead of coming along with the silly comment - indeed, the highly defensive comment - that the only thing they can say in response to this report is: "If it criticises us, get rid of it". I think Canberrans have had enough of Kate Carnell's attitude on that.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make an explanation under standing order 47 about a misunderstanding of comments that I made.
MR SPEAKER: Proceed.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, in my comments earlier I made the point that I think there should be a review of the estimates procedure and that I thought the estimates process was a very important part of government. Nowhere did I suggest that the Estimates Committee should be abolished.