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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 230 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

than I would compared to, say, disabilities. I might be wrong. These are always difficult decisions. Any of us can see how important policing and dealing with crime are, and all of us can see how important disabilities are, but we have only a limited amount of money. It is about setting priorities. I imagine it will always be the case that, no matter how much money is available to you, there will always be a need for priorities.

We are saying to you, "This is where we have put our priorities. Have we got it right? Do you as a committee, with the ability to make compromises, think we have got those priorities right, or have we missed something really critical?" Mr Wood spoke about the fact that the Health and Community Care Committee last year put a lot of effort into drawing our attention to a series of issues and problems. I agree. I have acknowledged that. We know that happens. That is why we take recommendations very seriously.

Last year we were not able to deal with all the recommendations at the time, but I think you will find that they have been worked into the budget this time round. We do take committee recommendations seriously. Sometimes we do not respond immediately, but they set our thinking in train. We believe that this is a genuine process. We are trying to be as open as we possibly can. That is what we will continue to do.

MR BERRY (12.06): I have to respond to Mr Moore's sermon. He ought to have finished it off by saying, "Here endeth the lesson" or something like that.

Mr Moore, in a substantial part of his contribution, made the claim that they cannot see how they could improve the process. That is because you have your blinkers on. I will explain how you can do it a little better. I will also explain why it is now apparent that you are unable to conduct an executive-led consultation process yourselves.

If you want to improve the process, you can have an executive-led consultation process, feed it into your budget process, bring your budget back to the Assembly and let it be tested by the scrutiny process here. That is very straightforward and would be much more efficient than the process you have embarked upon.

One reason you are trying to feed it off to the committees is that you want to continue with the drip feeding of pork into the community, continue the so-called promises that have been leaking over the last week or so. You are trying to blur the line and shift the responsibility to the committees for your failure to connect with the community in a reasonable consultation process. That has now become obvious.

We went through this process last year. You could see that the eyes of the people coming before the committees had glazed over. They knew that this was a phoney process. Everybody knows that it is a phoney process. The good thing for the minority in this Assembly is that almost everybody knows that it is a phoney process, and they know that it does not really matter; that it is a political process, that has nothing to do with taking into account the views of the committees. Some people do not waste that much time on describing the process. They just describe it as a monumental wank. That is the general impression you get about this process.

The government is not serious about consultation and is trying to blur the line. There are reasons for it. As I said earlier, if the Chief Minister had been listening, they are incapable of connecting with the community. The community do not trust them. The

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