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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3710 ..

MS CARNELL: One nomination does not produce an award, Mr Speaker. You need to have a large number of people backing up that award. Many, many people are approached and asked for their opinions. Most people who are put forward for awards are not successful. In fact, almost all of them are unsuccessful. The fact that Mr Walker's application, that was backed up by a large number of people, including me, not just in the ACT Government - - -

Mr Quinlan: Spontaneously.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the Opposition, if they keep interjecting, may achieve an award which they do not really want.

MS CARNELL: Mr Walker's award, as I understand it, was backed up by not just people in the ACT Public Service but people in the Commonwealth and people in New South Wales. It was then put to a committee that has one representative from the ACT, as it has one representative from every State, and a large number of other people who assessed whether they believed Mr Walker's contribution to the improvement of the ACT Public Service, to the improvement of our public administration generally, stood up to the test. And guess what, Mr Speaker? They believed it did.

I think it is pretty ordinary for members in this Assembly, who honestly do not see or are not in a position to look at public administration at a macro level right across all States and the Federal Government, as this committee is, to suggest that Mr Walker's award was not appropriate. I have to say I am extraordinarily sick of public servants being criticised in this way.

Mr Stanhope: Well, what did you do yesterday? You blamed them for everything.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Silence!

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that Mr Osborne would sink to the same levels as those opposite. Our Public Service has done an extraordinary job since self-government. I am not just talking about since we have been in power. Mr Humphries would know, and Mr Kaine should know, that from 1989 they took over a system that was basically a Commonwealth system that had no obvious roots. It was not a system that was appropriate for a little jurisdiction like ours. Over 10 years, and that is not very long, they have got to a stage where they win national awards regularly for public administration, for financial management, for - - -

Mr Osborne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I was only after a yes or no.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I thought so too.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, that is not what Mr Osborne is going to get. They win national awards for their annual reports. For a whole list of other things they have won national awards, beating other public services. I think that is pretty stunning and I am proud of them.

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