Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3656 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

There are comments in this report that I recommend to you in relation to the lack of market research and in relation to the contract that was set up with the sales and marketing consortium, where again a couple of million dollars went down the tubes for absolutely no result. I think the achievement of sales under that contract was something like three per cent of target. It was a ridiculous deal. The government had done so poorly in setting up the deal that once legal action was commenced we, or the taxpayers of Canberra, lost the game.

There is a section in the report on governance. I am reminded of the number of times that I have heard Chief Ministers in this place tell us what a wonderful public service we have, but it seems that they are still happy to imply that it was mainly their fault. I live in this town. I run into people who happen to be tied up in our administration, and our wonderful public service does not have a high morale at the moment. That lack of high morale has a lot to do with the management and operation that is indicated by this particular exercise.

Mr Osborne: Support my bill and they will be much happier.

MR QUINLAN: I refer you to Mr Wood's quotation: "For every complex problem there is a simple answer, but it's usually wrong." Sometimes there is a simplistic answer, Mr Osborne. I remind members of the seven out of nine cabinet submissions that were either misleading or incomplete in the amount of information that they delivered to cabinet. (Extension of time granted.)

I am putting a few thoughts into Hansard simply because this is probably the most significant issue that has arisen over the last 31/2 years. I think the breadth of this issue is not just indicative of a single mistake made; it is the summary of the government that we have had for the last 31/2 years, if not longer.

In relation to the public service renewal and Mr Osborne's interjections in relation to supporting his legislation-I did say earlier that I appreciated the motivation behind that legislation-we did take the time to speak to the Public Service Commissioner. We did take the time to think through the ramifications of that legislation and we have concluded, rationally and logically, that it is not the way to go. Sorry about that.

I will not take much more of the Assembly's time. I repeat that this is probably the most significant issue that came before this place in the last 31/2 years. It has had considerable impact. Not all of those impacts have been redressed yet. There is public service renewal and there is a need. Whichever government comes into place after the next elections, whether the Liberals get back or if we get in, it does face the job of rebuilding the administration. I attended at the beginning of this year the retreat that all of the chief executives and all the heads of agencies have once a year and discussed this topic. I think I have a reasonable appreciation of the fact that they have a big job in front of them, and they know it.

I will close, Mr Speaker, by thanking my fellow members of the committee for the work that went into this report. I thank the secretary, Maureen Weeks, and I particularly thank Siobhan Leyne who is here on secondment and took the trouble to plough her way through those 10 centimetres of audit report-I am sure most members have not been past every page-and helped us come up with, I think, a reasonably comprehensive

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .