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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3834 ..

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, no net cost to government does not mean no cost to the ACT taxpayer. It means no net cost to government. No net cost to government, quite clearly, has been defined as meaning no total cost after you take into account economic benefits, improved tourism and improved land values - all of those things. That means that there could be some dollars out of government budgets, just like there are out of the Northern Territory and South Australia for the Darwin to Adelaide route; but, overall, there must be no net cost. In other words, those costs must be outweighed by the benefits to the community generally. I certainly will stick by that, Mr Speaker. I would have to say that, boy, the costs to the taxpayer would have to be huge to outweigh the enormous benefit that Speedrail would bring to Canberra.

Mr Stanhope: Give us a hint.

Mr Berry: Is this the yes factor?

MS CARNELL: If people in this house disagree with that, let them get up and say it, Mr Speaker.

Temporary Accommodation Allowance

MR CORBELL: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, you stated in the Canberra Times of 2 December this year in relation to temporary accommodation allowance for senior public servants that "the staff were entitled to the payments under public-sector guidelines put in place by the former Labor government in 1994". Chief Minister, under those guidelines, Chapter 6, Part C, Guideline 8 indicates that "staff receiving TAA normally pay an officer contribution as prescribed in the relevant Schedules". Chief Minister, what officer contributions have been received by the Carnell Government from the executives named in the response to my question on notice No. 193 as receiving temporary accommodation allowance?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, may I state again, because those opposite probably were not listening or did not pay any attention to the fact, that I actually tabled the note from Mr Gilmour. Mr Speaker, it is not a matter for government. The Public Sector Management Act and the Public Service standards are implemented and run by the commissioner and chief executive officers. Obviously, I would not know the answer to the question about who has paid what. Nor should I, Mr Speaker, and nor should those opposite. What we need to be confident of is that the Act, the guidelines and the Remuneration Tribunal findings are being implemented appropriately. It is the responsibility of this side of the house to ensure that legislation and guidelines are being implemented properly. We have certainly asked on, I would have to say, many occasions to ensure that that is the case.

I am very happy to take that question on notice, but it is a stupid question, Mr Speaker. Yet again, it shows no understanding of how the Public Service works. The Government and the Executive do not and should not manage the Public Service on a day-to-day basis. Those opposite passed legislation in 1994 to ensure that that was not the case and

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