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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3184 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

Now, what we have to do is move from that point and say, "Well, let's get this thing right". I think it is highly inappropriate for my committee to attempt to complete such an inquiry before the very considerable resources of the administration bring forward the findings of their inquiries. What are we playing at here? Are we playing some sort of stupid game where you want this inquiry to report first and then come out and say, "No, our findings are bigger than yours."? That is a quite ridiculous,; bizarre concept. As far as I am concerned this inquiry does now need those findings. It does need the interpretations and the findings of the Auditor-General from his inquiry into the performance audit on the redevelopment at Bruce Stadium. It does merit and does require the findings of the select committee on the tendering processes.

It probably requires, after that, the employment of an expert, someone who is legally trained or at least has had a considerable exposure to the constructs of legislation - because that is what we are talking about - and then to review all of those things together. I am asking this Assembly to apply common sense. Maybe you are right to the point when you say, "Well, we shouldn't have started it in the first place", or "We shouldn't have done it this way". Obviously the thing has to be done.

Obviously, if we have a section of the Financial Management Act which is quite clearly designed, and this was confirmed by the Auditor before estimates, to allow for short-term investment of funds to be used to somehow legally justify the unauthorised expenditure of millions and millions of dollars, then probably we have to change that Act somewhat. The way I read it - let me display my legal inadequacies - is that the QC's opinion that the Government received was quite inappropriate; it was certainly a rather blatant pursuit of a loophole to excuse government. I do not think there is anybody in this place who has spent more than two minutes considering the question and the opinions received that would think otherwise.

I ask this Assembly to support the motion. If we do not receive that support what the committee is bound to do is produce virtually a nonsense report, so we just go through the ritual and then raise the damn thing again at a later date, if necessary. What is the point? Mr Deputy Speaker, I just ask that at least common sense prevails among the majority of members of this Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative


Alteration to Reporting Date and Resolution of Appointment

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.52): I move:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 6 May 1999 which appointed the Select Committee on Government Contracting and Procurement Processes be amended by omitting paragraph (3) and substituting the following paragraph:

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