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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3181 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

fairly long breaks at the Assembly and despite the fact that there have been things like the Estimates Committee that take precedence over other committee activities, and the like.

The Minister also needs to take note of the fact that, despite the output of the committee, the resources committed to the committees of this place are very sparse. Our committee secretary works very hard to keep up with all the inquiries. I do not think that the Minister or anybody else can expect more output from our committee secretary. Committees certainly understand the workload. We believe that our secretary does more than his share in maintaining the output of this committee.

It is a pity that the committee cannot get more resources to get through to the Minister's satisfaction. The other significant factor is that reviewing a document like the Financial Management Act is not something that you do in five minutes. We have heard people tell us how complicated the Act is. We even had the Chief Minister, when she was Treasurer, saying how it was so complicated that she could not be expected to understand all of it; her departmental officers who were administering the Act could not possibly be expected to be across all of the detail with this Act because it was so comprehensive and so complex.

That being the case, even if it had nothing else on its agenda it would not be something that the committee would undertake lightly and do a quick once-over. I know the Government would probably like us to, but the committee has no intention of doing that. When we do report on the operations of the Financial Management Act it will be after a comprehensive review of its content; the things missing from it, if there are any; things that should be added to it; the obligations that it imposes on people. Maybe they should be strengthened. Whatever it is, it will be a substantive report. It will not be undertaken lightly or where the committee has some view, as the Minister seems to have: "A quick look at this and she'll be right". That is not the view of the committee at all. I take offence personally at the Minister's assertion that somehow this committee is not doing what it is established to do. I think the evidence speaks for itself. The committee is. Such comments from the Minister are unwarranted, unjustified and unfair.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.37): I would just respond very briefly to some of the allegations that the Minister cast across the chamber in relation to this. This is a most reasonable motion by this committee. They have looked at the issue; they have made some decisions about it and they have made a very reasonable request that the reporting time be extended. The Minister raises comments made in the debate around Bruce Stadium. It is always interesting to me that the Minister or anybody in the Government comes into this place and seeks to denigrate the Opposition by raising, as an example, our attitude to the debate around Bruce Stadium, and this Government's attitude to the Financial Management Act and the Self-Government Act.

What we were debating at that time - and this may have escaped the Attorney's attention, or he has forgotten about it for some reason - was the fact that this Government, in its actions in expenditure of uncommitted funds in relation to Bruce

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