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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4089 ..

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, there is an MPI on the notice paper about inappropriate payments. I do not accept that these are inappropriate payments. The payments have been paid in line with the guidelines; in line with the Public Service Management Act and are, under those circumstances, appropriate payments. I am fascinated that those opposite would get stuck into the Public Service and the Public Service commissioner along these lines. Are they saying that the commissioner of the time acted inappropriately? I do not know if that is what they are saying; but if they are they should come out and say that, because the payments that were made were in line with the direction given by the Public Service commissioner, in line with the 1994 guidelines, as amended.

Mr Corbell: They changed them.

MS CARNELL: As amended in line with 1994 guidelines. Everything has been done - Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Will you be quiet, please, Mr Corbell?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, all of the payments, as I am advised by the current Public Service commissioner, have been made appropriately. So there are no inappropriate payments. Members may believe that payments are too high. They may believe the guidelines put in place in 1994 and subsequently updated in 1996 are inappropriate. If that is the case, that should be the focus of what they are doing now.

We had a look at the guidelines in 1997. We got Ernst and Young to have a look at these guidelines, and decided that the appropriate approach was to send them to the Remuneration Tribunal with a government submission, suggesting that there should be a cap. That is the appropriate approach, not the attack on the Public Service commissioner and the Public Service that we have seen from those opposite. I do not believe that is acceptable.

If we in this house want to change the guidelines, then get those opposite to stand up and say they do not believe the guidelines are appropriate. There is every capacity for us to direct the Public Service commissioner to look at the guidelines; for us to put submissions to the Remuneration Tribunal. Of course, the Opposition can do that, just as the Government has, and get the guidelines changed. You can do that without attacking one public servant. It is my advice from the Public Service commissioner that the guidelines have been followed; that the payments are appropriate under those guidelines. For those opposite to suggest that people should not get their just entitlements is a very, very interesting approach from a supposed Labor Party.

Temporary Accommodation Allowance

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is also to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, the Chief Minister tabled a minute from the Commissioner for Public Administration dated 13 August, as Mr Stanhope indicated previously, indicating that the commissioner had acted to extend the provision of temporary accommodation allowances to senior executives to five years; brought out the requirement for officer contributions; and increased by 41 and 60 per cent, respectively, the level of rent allowance paid. The

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