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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2113 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

Standing order 180 sets down the order in which this Bill will be considered, that is, in the detail stage any Schedule expressing the services for which the appropriation is to be made must be considered before the clauses and, unless the Assembly otherwise orders, the Schedules will be considered by proposed expenditure in the order shown. With the concurrence of the Assembly, I am proposing that the Assembly consider Schedule 1 by part and appropriation unit and departmental totals. Is that the wish of the Assembly? That being so, Schedule 1 will be considered by part, appropriation unit and departmental totals, then the clauses prior to Schedule 2 and the title.

Schedule 1 - Appropriations

Part 1 - Legislative Assembly Secretariat

Proposed expenditure - Legislative Assembly Secretariat, $7,038,000 (comprising net cost of outputs, $4,044,000; and payments on behalf of the Territory, $2,994,000)

MR CORBELL (12.07): Mr Speaker, in dealing with the Appropriation Bill and the report of the Select Committee on Estimates, I would like to make some comments that I was unable to make when the Assembly last sat; indeed, when the Estimates Committee report was tabled last week. Mr Speaker, on that occasion I was unable to make the comments because of the precedence that the Assembly had given to the motion of want of confidence in the Chief Minister, but I was, of course, required to table the report. I did that then, but I would like to put some comments on the record, as none have been made so far, in relation to the conduct of the Estimates Committee and its recommendations.

Mr Speaker, the estimates process this year was, I believe, a very constructive process. I am pleased to say that the report of the Select Committee on Estimates on the budget for 1999-2000 is the unanimous report of all non-executive members. Quite clearly, the convention has continued in this place as the government member of the Estimates Committee has continued to dissent from a wide range of recommendations outlined in the Estimates Committee report. However, unlike previous years, this Estimates Committee report has achieved a unanimous consensus amongst all non-government members. I think that is a significant achievement and demonstrates the ability of the committee to work constructively on the wide range of issues that the committee was asked to address. For the record, I extend my thanks now to the other members of the Estimates Committee for their cooperation and their assistance in developing this very significant report.

The report has 67 recommendations - the largest number of recommendations yet produced by an estimates committee - but I would hasten to note that it is a matter not simply of quantity but also of the quality of the recommendations. I believe that we met the mark well there. They are well considered and they outline a range of very important issues.

Mr Speaker, the committee this year continued the practice of the Estimates Committee formed last year in providing an opportunity for members of the community to come and give evidence before the committee. We had 18 submissions from either community organisations or individuals this year, up on the 14 of last year. Again, that is a process which is being well received by the community and is continuing to be used

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