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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2058 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

government accountability. I am prepared to support a change to the reporting period but think that four-monthly reporting might be too far apart.

I note that Mr Quinlan has proposed a three-monthly reporting period, which seems more reasonable. I also do not see why the 30-day period in which to prepare these reports must be expanded to 45 days. If the reporting period is being expanded, then there should be a saving in the time taken to put together these reports and more time for officials to prepare these reports. Mr Quinlan is proposing to amend this time back to 30 days, so I will also support this amendment.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (4.19), in reply: I will close the debate, Mr Deputy Speaker. I thank members for their support for the bill. I think we have all agreed that there needs to be a capacity for a different reporting arrangement. I adopt the comments made by Mr Quinlan in a large degree. I think the present reporting arrangements are unsatisfactory. I acknowledge that the idea to go to less regular reporting was his own. If I had been aware of that I probably would not have brought my own bill forward to achieve it, and so I acknowledge his parentage. Paternity is perhaps the word I am looking for.

Mr Quinlan: Mum and dad are pleased about that.

MR HUMPHRIES: That's right. As I mentioned already, the argument for moving from monthly to four-monthly reporting was a transmogrification of the idea that Mr Quinlan put forward, but it came, in fact, from the Auditor-General. However, I think there are problems with the proposal and I am quite prepared to accept that three-monthly reporting, that is, quarterly reporting, is a better idea. We will support those amendments.

Having noted that reports are now coming out on a quarterly basis, I think there will be much more information to be contained in the reports. They will be more thorough reports. More work will be put into making them accurate and useful documents for the Assembly and the community to study. It is generally a very close run thing to get these reports available within the 30 days provided for at present. With the extra information that will be provided in a quarterly report, doing that within 30 days will be impossible. So I thank Mr Quinlan for agreeing that 45 days would be a more appropriate time.

I thank members for their support for the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR QUINLAN (4.21): Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to move amendments Nos 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13, circulated in my name, together.

Leave granted.

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