Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3227 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, it seems to me that the real issue here is not how sensitive I am about this minor issue but how important it is to the Labor Party. They keep raising it - it was their recommendation 1 - but there were so many important things that they did not do. It is not what they did do that the Government responded to. It was the opportunities that they had which they missed. That is the bit that they ought to be embarrassed about.
MR CORBELL (3.49): Mr Speaker, I want to respond to some of the comments in the Government's response and some of the Chief Minister's comments in tabling her response. I notice that in the Chief Minister's tabling speaking notes she mentions me as engaging in a series of personal attacks on individual public servants.
Ms Carnell: I did not mention your name once.
MR CORBELL: I will read it:
Instead, we were treated to another episode in a long-running series of personal attacks on individual public servants by the committee chairman and his Labor Party colleague.
I assume that is me, Mr Speaker. If the Labor Party had had three members on it, it would have been an even tougher report. I want to respond to those comments because, clearly, the Government has failed to understand something here. The first thing it has failed to understand is that this is a majority report. Far from being simply a Labor Party report, it is endorsed without comment or qualification by one member of the crossbench. So, when the Chief Minister stands up in this place and attempts to denigrate the process and to use it as a political tool to denigrate the Labor Opposition, she should perhaps be reminded that it is a majority report. Mr Paul Osborne has endorsed it without qualification.
I should add, Mr Speaker, that, with the exception of, I think, two or three recommendations, it is endorsed by all members and, with the exception of one recommendation, it is endorsed by four of the five members. So let us have that very clear in our minds and perhaps then we can really understand what the Chief Minister is doing here. She is doing what she always does, which is to take party political advantage of denigrating the Labor Opposition because she got her fingers burnt. That is what is going on in this case.
Mr Speaker, there are a couple of other comments in relation to the Government's response that I want to address. One is about the role of the Estimates Committee itself. The Estimates Committee has been attacked again by the Chief Minister - both now and previously when it was first tabled - for, according to her, allegedly failing to address the thousands of performance indicators which agencies and the Government use to measure their performance. The Chief Minister, of course, is applying a very narrow definition to the role of the Estimates Committee. It is not just about performance indicators; it is about the activities and the program of the Government over the previous year and how the Government has spent money in implementing that program.