Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1551 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The Government has provided a $10m capital injection into the information technology modernisation program and it estimates that 80 per cent of the IT infrastructure in the ACT Public Service needs to be replaced. The Urban Services Committee's report on the draft 1999-2000 capital works program recommended that the Assembly be provided with a clear and detailed explanation of the whole IT modernisation program. The budget fails to highlight any intention of the Government to make this modernisation program transparent. Rather, as Mr Stanhope said earlier today, in keeping with the monty theme, it insists on a Monty Python approach, intent on purchasing every machine that goes ping. That may be a sexy approach, but it certainly does not address the issue of where exactly all this money is going. That, I think, is one for the Estimates Committee.

I want to finish by focusing on just one other aspect of the draft 1999-2000 capital works program. The draft capital works program report contained a recommendation that before funds are expended on upgrading the old Ainslie Public School to convert it to a craft centre the Government should develop a full business case and feasibility study in order to demonstrate that the project is justified. It is quite clear from the budget papers that they were not going to accept that recommendation one little bit. The Chief Minister had made up her mind about Ainslie Public School. For all the talk about probity, for all the talk about process, for all the talk about justifying expenditure down to the last cent, when a standing committee of this Assembly highlights the fact that the Government is proposing to spend over $150,000 on a refurbishment which has no justification whatsoever, when the committee says, "Before you spend that money, you had better get some justification", and the Government simply ignores it, slots it into the budget and says, "We are spending the money", is it any wonder that the community has concerns about the approach of this Government? These concerns, I hope, will continue to be focused on, elaborated on and examined as part of the Estimates Committee process.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The member's time has expired.

(Quorum formed)

MR HARGREAVES (9.29): Much has been said by those opposite about the full-monty budget. The Treasurer has said that it is a reveal-all budget, but I do not quite see it that way. In many ways, people have been left in the dark - fearfully in the dark. It will be up to the estimates process to scrutinise this budget fully and delve into the real reasons for some of the initiatives, and I use the term very loosely, and see whether any are in a mean sense. It is not my role to propose budget initiatives; rather, to point out to the Government some of the parts of the budget which will hurt people of the ACT, such as those which will impact heavily on families and businesses. This budget has in it the draconian slashing of 450 jobs. Far from saying that the pain is over, this Treasurer has continued unabated to cut out jobs in the service sector of the public sector.

Ms Carnell: What did you do?

MR HARGREAVES: In response to the interjection of the Chief Minister, I did nothing. It is interesting to note that in the support area of the Department of Urban Services there are currently 360 positions, and there are 661 positions in the operations

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .