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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2216 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

about the Auditor-General appearing before committees. Turning to proposed new section 22A, which relates to additional amounts for certain audits, my understand from discussions with the government and the opposition is that they are prepared to support an amendment which would change the word "must" to "may" in subsection (1). Mr Humphries was concerned that that would prohibit the Auditor approaching the Treasurer first, which I thought was fair enough. In subsection (3) the word "must" is to be changed to "may" to leave the discretion with the Treasurer. The period of appointment of the Auditor-General is something that it is hoped will be resolved after the in-principle stage.

I do thank members for what appears to be their support for this bill. I hope that over the dinner break we will be able to resolve what will be left. I am confident that we will be able to come up with some legislation which strengthens the role of the Auditor-General and the very important function that he has in keeping this place, and governments in particular, accountable.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mr Osborne ) adjourned to a later hour.

Student bus travel-new flat fare

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: Mr Berry, in his closing remarks in the debate on the amendment to the Financial Management Act, indicated that he felt that we had not advertised the fact that a new flat fare system would come into place as part of the school transport scheme. I refer him to a press release I put out on 1 May. The appropriate line reads:

The new flat fare will enable students to travel across Canberra for the equivalent of a single zone fare, Mr Smyth said.

Also, in some of the information that was provided for public use there is in the section about how the scheme will work a reference to a flat fare for school tickets applying, based on a single zone fare. Indeed, there is another section about changes to students' fares which talks about a flat fare for all students. That information went to the school transport liaison committee as well. The information certainly was out there. Again, what we have is laziness from those opposite, who ignore the information that we put out.

Sitting suspended from 5.51 to 7.30 pm

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