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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1568 ..

(4) the foregoing provisions of this resolution have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

I will be very brief, Mr Speaker. A recurrent theme during this Assembly has been the way that this Government goes about its business. Questions have been raised about how it determines projects will proceed, how it selects partners for projects, and how it selects consultants, managers and builders. Questions have been asked about the way that some projects have been condemned because of flimsy assessment. Questions have been raised about the way that the people of the Territory have been committed to the redevelopment, for instance, of Bruce Stadium, a redevelopment based on fanciful projections of use, projections derided by all, including the tenants of the stadium.

We had a long debate yesterday about the tabling of certain documents in relation to Bruce Stadium. I feel that that debate in a way actually serves as a detailed explanation of the need for and worth of an inquiry by the Assembly into the contracting and procurement processes and policies of the ACT Government. An inquiry has been proposed, therefore, by the Labor Party to examine the tendering and contracting arrangements of the Territory. The Labor Party is proposing that a select committee look at the very important issues of contracting and procurement because of the broad focus that any such inquiry would have. We propose that a select committee inquire into contracting and procurement - all aspects of the tendering process and contracting done by the ACT Government - because the issue of contracting and procurement is relevant to all portfolios; in fact, to the activities not only of the departments but also of the Territory owned corporations.

Such an inquiry would be a major and most significant inquiry, one that would go to the expenditure of enormous amounts of the Territory's revenue on the whole range of contracting that we do in terms of the purchase of services, the construction of capital works and everything else in relation to which we issue contracts, even perhaps the basis on which departments contract out for legal services. This is a major and very important issue that requires a whole-of-government approach and it is the view of the ALP that a select committee would be the most appropriate way of achieving that direct, all-of-government focus on contracting and procurement.

Mr Speaker, I will wind up now because this matter was dealt with in detail in the debate yesterday in terms of the sorts of issues that are raised. I think the Bruce Stadium development project from start to finish is a good illustration of the range of issues that are faced in the tendering or contracting process. We can use that in a way as a model to explain or to illustrate the reasons that this inquiry is particularly important. I leave it at that other than to say, Mr Speaker, that I feel comfortable at this stage - it is late and we are all tired - about not discussing this issue at length. I have spoken to members of the crossbench. Indeed, I have spoken to Mr Kaine, Ms Tucker and Mr Osborne and they have all signified to me their support and endorsement of this inquiry. I believe that there is majority support for the inquiry and I do not think that we need to waste too much of the Assembly's time on debating it.

Debate interrupted.

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