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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 214 ..


(1) Omit from paragraph (1) (a) "including the recent evaluation of the ACT's

Men's Accommodation and Crisis Service"; and

(2) Delete paragraph (2)

MS TUCKER (11.51): Mr Speaker, the Greens will be supporting the amendment moved by Mr Corbell to Mr Stefaniak's motion. I think the question here is not particularly about the adequacy of the current or past service provision. This is a question of tender processes. So I am not even going to go into questions about the evaluation. I do not think it is appropriate to do that because we are clearly not in a position to be making judgments on that.

However, what we are in a position to do is make comment on what Mr Stefaniak is suggesting in terms of process through this motion, and that is, as Mr Corbell said, to basically ignore procurement legislation which his government brought into this place and to bring into question the integrity of the tender panel who have responsibility for running the tender process. I think that is rather inappropriate. If Mr Stefaniak wants to say that he is of the view that the tender panel will not be professional and clear in determining who is the best organisation to take on this important service, then he should do so. If that is what he wants to say then it is a serious statement and a substantive allegation. I don't know if he realises that that is what he is saying, but it clearly is.

The tender panel has a number of people on it who I am sure, unless Mr Stefaniak has evidence to the contrary, are doing a very professional job. The panel includes a person from the Domestic Violence Prevention Council, which is, as members know, an independent body. He is also from the ANU and is a lawyer. There is a Commonwealth bureaucrat who, as I understand it, has experience of over 10 years of tender evaluation and has experience with SAAP services. There is also a senior policy officer from Justice and Community Safety. These people are charged with the responsibility of determining, through the tender process, who will best provide a service to the community using public funds.

This is the process that Mr Stefaniak's government put into place. It is, as members are well aware, a process I have raised questions about in terms of the overall philosophy. I have said in this place many times that when Hilmer introduced competition policy he did not recommend it be used for human services. But that is a broader philosophical debate. The point is that what we have here is a legislative framework which requires certain processes. Those processes are now occurring and if Mr Stefaniak wants to cut them short because of a particular complaint from a particular service provider then I think that is not good process at all.

I wonder if Mr Stefaniak had thought about the precedent that would be created if we supported his motion. I am sure he is aware that there is a review of the SAAP services at the moment, and a number of them may well be going out to tender. What we would be doing today if we supported the motion is saying to anybody in the community service sector, "If you don't like what comes out of this review in terms of what happens to your service, you go and get a committee inquiry in the Legislative Assembly." This would make meaningless the whole procurement legislation and guidelines which, as Mr Corbell and I have said, Mr Stefaniak's government introduced.

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