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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1580 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

recommendation, is referring more to the subsequent announcement by this government of increased police powers. I think it needs to be made quite clear that there is an argument for that in respect of bail and in respect of the increased police powers.

I obviously cannot go through all of the recommendations. I think this a good report. I agree with Mr Quinlan that it reflects a lot of hard work by a few members of the committee. I hope that the government-if not this government, then the next government-will look at these recommendations, because they are important. Some of them have been made many times. It is getting to the point where we need to see some movement, particularly in the social area and in informing public policy in a more thoughtful way than is occurring at the moment under this government.

Some initiatives in the budget are welcome, but the community that works with impoverished people are concerned that it does not get to the heart of the problem. Pat Power, who chaired the poverty task force, said:

Ultimately, what is at stake is a matter of justice in enhancing the dignity of every person, and enabling all to have greater overall control of their own lives and participate more fully in the overall life of the community.

That is what we are talking about. An increasing number of people in the ACT are not able to experience that. It is a very serious issue for government.

MR HARGREAVES (11.32): Mr Speaker, this report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2001-2002 discharges the committee's role to question the basic assumptions and arithmetic conclusions behind the final budget document that the government provided to the Assembly as the resourcing of its programs for the coming year. The committee's role was to examine programs and initiatives on the basis of value for the dollar, and for the greatest part it did just that.

Mr Speaker, I would like to discuss the report on a number of levels. One is the process. Another one is the sorts of things that I gained out of the process, and I am sure there are members here who will recognise a lot of what I have to say. I would also like to talk briefly about the differences between budgets and make a comment or two about the contribution that was made to the process.

Like Mr Quinlan, I would like to pay tribute to the support team that was behind the process. The task was particularly onerous for me in the sense that there was a lot of reading and detail involved in producing the report. Because some of the detail was missing, we had to call for additional papers and that impacted on members of the committee and our staff. So I pay tribute to the support staff of the committee and also to my own staff for the assistance that I received.

Mr Speaker, the page containing the dissension by Mrs Burke and Mr Hird has been placed on the back of the report. In my view, this is the correct place for it. If we want to nod off we can read this piece of work, which I think fairly sums up the contribution of both of those people. The dissension is an abrogation of responsibility. Their dissension, in part, states:

The draft is blatantly political and contains many errors of fact.

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