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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2321 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

answered. How do you reconcile these very recent events, events in the last few weeks, with your Chief Minister's high-sounding claims, and why were you prepared to leave your public servants swinging in the breeze without taking responsibility at those hearings?

MR SMYTH: Both those claims by Mr Quinlan were answered in the Estimates Committee. What Mr Tomlins said at the 14 May 2001 meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration was that the ACT offer was based on Impulse's advice of the package it required and the potential for Impulse's proposal for Canberra, in terms of size and economic benefit, to far outweigh the cost. Mr Tomlins did not claim to have obtained confirmation of a Victorian offer from Victorian sources.

I think the question on the changing figures for Gungahlin Drive was well and truly answered in the Estimates Committee, where the three variations in costings at three different times were given by the public servants. Both questions were answered fully.

MR QUINLAN: There was another set of figures that had nothing to do with any-

MR SPEAKER: Ask your supplementary question.

MR QUINLAN: We now have public renewal, which seems to put the focus on public servants, which you abhor, of course, Chief Minister. Have you, Mr Smyth, received your invitation to the acceptance of responsibility renewal course, otherwise known as the ministerial backbone course?

MR SMYTH: It is with an air of desperation that we get to questions like this. Clearly those opposite have nothing else to comment on. If you want to put the record of the government on display, we are happy to say that we started with a $344 million black hole that six years of good financial management have made up. That took some backbone. This is a government that has changed a number of initiatives, whether it be in education, health, transport or the environment. That has taken considerable bravery and leadership. The government has moved ahead on those.

For instance, the Commissioner for the Environment, in his recent report, said that this government should speak more about the initiatives and leadership we have shown, because they are at the leading edge, because the initiatives are world-leading initiatives. This is a government that has plenty of backbone. We have made the hard decisions to make up for Labor's mistakes. If re-elected in October, we will continue to make sure that we keep the ACT at the leading edge of delivering services, protecting the environment, looking after the economy and making Canberra a better place to live.

Department of Justice and Community Safety

MR KAINE: My question is to the Attorney-General and is in connection with the Department of Justice and Community Safety, for which presumably he is responsible, although under recent definitions I am not sure that that is the case. I noted with interest a report in the media earlier this week that the executive director of the policy and regulatory division of your department, who is also the ACT Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, has been appointed to a full-time position in a Commonwealth agency-the Insurance Claims Review Panel-at a reported annual salary of $72,000.

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