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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3740 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I believe that conflict of interest in the Department of Health, Housing and Community Care would be the rarest occurrence imaginable. We are talking about people who consider their work in the department a vocation, not a job. Predominantly people work in the department because they want to. If you want a measure of their commitment, just look at the number of times they complain about the rate of change. They complain about things that are going on within the department but they do not leave. Quite a number of my colleagues have had 20 or 30 years service in the department because of that commitment.

Mr Speaker, I also welcome this report. I would like to send a message to the department that we have the utmost confidence in what they are doing.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Statement by chairman

MR QUINLAN (11.32): Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 246A, the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration has resolved that I make the following statement regarding Auditor-General's Report No 1 of 2001-Financial Audits with years ending to 30 June 2000. I seek leave to table the statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: I present the following paper:

Finance and Public Administration-Standing Committee-Auditor General's Report No 1, 2001-Financial Audits with Years ending to 30 June 2000-Statement.

I will limit my comments to saying that there is not a lot new in this report. The Auditor, in the commentary he makes in reports of this type, notes the improving financial position of the territory. For obvious reasons to the informed observer, he falls short of attributing this to the blood, sweat and ticker of the government.

As this is the last report of the Finance and Public Administration Committee, I would like to say a few words. First, I would like to challenge Mr Hird's claim that seemed to imply that he was the chair of the hardest working committee in the Assembly. I know that he has had lots of meetings and done lots of things over and over again in the same way.

I would, at this stage, remind members that the Finance and Public Administration Committee has handled the following matters that I can remember just off the top of my head: the full spectrum of audit reports, ranging from Bruce to the very simple reports that have given processes the tick; and some quasi-estimates hearings on supplementary appropriation bills where there was not enough time to form an estimates committee to get the job done-we took on the role of being a pinch-hit committee. The committee has been involved in the draft budget process probably more heavily than any of the other committee in the place.

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