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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 10 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

We also recommended that the government get on with the review of the Financial Management Act. At one stage they referred it to the public accounts committee. We called in the department and they said, "We are working on that. We are going to draft legislation." So our committee quite logically said, "Please refer your draft legislation to the committee." That was 18 months to two years ago, and little has been done, as I understand it, since that time. Mr Humphries, our Chief Minister, is very quick to criticise committees that do not meet deadlines, but the evidence is that this government does not meet deadlines. That exercise has been hanging around for quite some time. That promise of a redraft of the Financial Management Act, of draft legislation to amend it, has been around for more than a year.

Mr Humphries: You say it has not met the deadline. What is the deadline?

MR QUINLAN: A reasonable time will do, Mr Humphries, but not forever. Mr Humphries, you referred it to the committee to keep them busy, then we found that some work was supposed to be at the department. We said, "Can we see that?" It has not been done. The committee, with no resources, is told, "You can do it and meet a deadline." But the government, with all its resources, cannot.

We also recommended to the government that they examine instructions and contracts with a view to avoiding the situation where the government has made a commitment for expenses but is not in a position to control. Bruce Stadium is the classic example. They signed up to a contract over which they had no control, and even within that exercise we had the crazy exercise of the Deutsche Bank, again where the fee would be set after the job was done and be set by the contractor.

We recommended that the government undertake a review of its processes and procedures and control in relation to the QIC development and Ainslie Avenue redevelopment, given that the extension of the Canberra Centre, the retail space of section 56, has been around for 12 months and it is still under negotiation. It means that QIC, the owner of the Canberra Centre, virtually has a hold over the property next door to it, but nothing has been done to establish the development, the space, the community facilities, et cetera in that area.

We recommended that PALM be sufficiently resourced to allow planning to be conducted in a proper sequence. We have seen evidence that planning has not been conducted in a proper sequence. I am sure Mr Corbell will be very happy to give you many more examples of that problem, which he has pointed up on a regular basis.

We recommended that the government take a good hard look at promoting business activity in the Gungahlin area, even to the extent of making some effort to put part of the ACT administration in the Gungahlin area so that there is an employment base there. Some of the traffic problems might be alleviated by fewer cars leaving Gungahlin, and some activity in the centre of Gungahlin will give it a real feeling of community and some employment opportunities for locals.

I will pass over some of the recommendations, as I am getting to my time limit. We recommended that the government review the cost-benefit of competitive tendering by the department of housing. What we see here is what we have seen also in CityScape.

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