Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1339 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Melbourne. This advice has been sought by Mr Humphries' department for and on behalf of the Auditor-General. I would suggest that we wait and see what that advice is before we start checking the wind in the Assembly on what may or may not be the case.
Paragraph (3) calls for details of any borrowings. I can certainly provide the information requested, but does Mr Stanhope understand what he is asking for? I wonder. This will be quite a detailed list as it will cover a large number of entities. I note that no date range is given, so presumably I will need to go back to the commencement of the self-government Act. This paragraph does not talk about Bruce Stadium. It does not have anything to do with Bruce Stadium. It has to do with details of any borrowings made by the Territory or on behalf of the Territory under sections 40 and 42 of the Financial Management Act 1996 and any details of authorities made by the Treasurer pursuant to section 40 of that Act. It has nothing to do with Bruce. The motion has been badly put together. I assume that is not what Mr Stanhope means at all.
I come back to the fact that this motion, in its current form, asks for a number of contracts which cannot be provided without the agreement of the other contracting party. As I have said, I am more than happy to write to all of those people asking for their agreement, which is normal commercial practice. I am happy to do everything we can to be as open and as transparent as possible, but here we have a mess. We have potential truckloads of documents, and months of work would be required to produce what Mr Stanhope thinks he wants.
Would it not be sensible to sit down, maybe have a round table, and discuss exactly what documents this Assembly really wants and not just anything that might pop up. At what cost will it be to the taxpayer? I am talking about months of work here. ( Further extension of time granted) When the Auditor-General decided to do a full performance audit, he accepted that it would take the Government a number of weeks to put together the information that he asked for. He understood that it was quite significant in volume. This motion suggests that the documents be presented tomorrow. It is impossible to produce every transaction and every agreement - we think that is what he is after - and, potentially, every borrowing that has happened since self-government. This is patently ridiculous. Let us just take a step back and let us decide what documentation is useful to the Assembly rather than put a huge stress on our Public Service and on the public purse.
MR KAINE (11.17): Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister's response to this proposal is, of course, predictable. I was interested in the number of times during her speech that she used the word "transparent" or the word "transparency". There is a great similarity between yesterday's budget and the Bruce Stadium, in that the Chief Minister claims that they are both transparent. When we get into the estimates we will see just how transparent the budget is. I think that is a debatable proposition. In this case the proposition that the whole Bruce Stadium deal is transparent is patently untrue. If the Chief Minister asserts that it is transparent, she will eventually be hoist on her own petard on this matter.
The Bruce Stadium project has in fact been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning. We have found it almost impossible to get any information out of the Chief Minister through the processes available to us - that is, through asking questions in this place. I guarantee that we could go back and do a research of the Hansard over recent months and count up