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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1574 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I think I have probably taken up enough of the Assembly's time on the recommendations. I will just say that in summary I think that the budget appeared quite clearly to be a budget that was designed to soak up every discretionary dollar available for the next four years. It also appeared to be a budget that had little strategy about it other than an election strategy. We have a whole raft of initiatives which do not appear to offer the most effective way of delivering the services.

That is not my assessment. That is the assessment of people who bothered to come to the committee and make submissions, including ACTCOSS. If you know more than ACTCOSS and you know more than ACROD about service delivery, go right ahead. But I think you should at least take a moment to reflect upon their recommendations and their thoughts on how you might structure programs to make sure that the maximum dollar gets to the pointy end, gets to services to the people who really need them. We have had sufficient examination in the territory to know that there still is an unmet need out there.

Mr Speaker, I commend this report to the Assembly. I state categorically that it is no less a political document than the budget it scrutinises. In fact, I would say it is even less of a political document, because some balance from crossbench members was incorporated into it. I repeat my thorough disappointment that government members, who contributed virtually zero through the course of the whole process, now feel that they are in a position, beyond the expiration date, to make some contribution to this debate. I commend the report to the house.

MS TUCKER (11.12): I was hoping that Mrs Burke or Mr Hird would speak.

Mr Humphries: It is not their report. They have a dissenting report.

MS TUCKER: I was under the impression they were on the committee, and I thought from reading the newspaper that we were going to see some kind of statement from them which I would have liked the opportunity to read and respond to. Mrs Burke is waving something around.

MR SPEAKER: That is out of order. Please continue.

MS TUCKER: Mrs Burke says in the newspaper today that she tried to work constructively. I would suggest that it would have been constructive for Mrs Burke and Mr Hird to have given fellow members of the committee an opportunity to understand their arguments. This debate this morning is about the report. I understand the paper Mrs Burke is waving around is related to this report. It would have been useful and constructive to have let members of the committee know what their views were.

Mr Quinlan has already expressed his disappointment that that did not happen during the committee process. It is highly irregular that members of the committee are allowed to see or understand the views of other committee members only after the report has been tabled. I agree with Mr Quinlan that that is really appalling in terms of the committee process and how it is meant to work.

I notice in the media today the following statement about Mrs Burke and Mr Hird:

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