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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2251 ..

MR STEFANIAK: The reason why we have a national approach, and the reason why we cannot go off unilaterally is that we would get thrown out of the council, you would get complete

inconsistency and we might not benefit. As Mr Quinlan says, there are strong reasons for being in the council. A national approach is desirable. That is exactly what we are after.

MR RUGENDYKE (9.51), in reply: I thank members for their support for this motion. It is important that we be heard in this arena.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2000

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate resumed.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clauses 2 and 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR OSBORNE (9.53): I move the amendment circulated in name [see schedule 1 at page 2279].

There was some concern from members that the clause in my original bill gave the Auditor far-reaching powers. What we have is an extract from the New South Wales Auditor-General Act, which gives the Auditor-General power to expand within an area that they are already investigating. I will quickly read it:

(3) The auditor-general, in a report of a special financial audit or a performance audit -

(a) may include such information as he or she thinks desirable in relation to the activities that are the subject of the audit; and

(b) is to set out the reasons for opinions expressed in the report: and

(c) may include such recommendations arising out of the audit as the auditor-general thinks fit to make.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (9.54): The government's view is that proposed new subsection (3) as presently drafted would be too broad and would allow too wide an ambit for matters that were well outside the Auditor's functions to be canvassed.

I do not hold any fears as far as the present incumbent is concerned, but I think it is important for the legislation to outline some limits on the appropriate area of purview. The amendment Mr Osborne has put forward is reasonable, and we support it.

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