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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 712 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

This instrument relates to the 2001-02 financial year. Section 17 of the Financial Management Act 1996 enables variations to appropriations to be increased for any increases in existing Commonwealth specific purpose payments by direction of the Treasurer. The Department of Education and Community Services had received Commonwealth funding that is greater than originally budgeted for the non-government schooling current grant, due to additional enrolments. This instrument authorises the appropriation of $4.419 million, which is appropriated as expenses on behalf of the territory. The variation is budget neutral and it is matched by revenue from the Commonwealth. Mr Speaker, I commend the paper to the Assembly.

Capital works program

Paper and statement by minister

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

2000-02 Capital Works Program-Progress report-December quarter.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I have presented the December quarterly report for the 2001-02 capital works program. I intend to make a few comments on the presentation of the report, followed by a brief summary of information in the report.

The report provides detailed information on the progress of expenditure on all projects included in the 2001-02 capital works program, with particular focus on individual projects. In the last Assembly, the Public Accounts Committee reviewed the presentation and format of the capital works program. A number of concerns were expressed and these related to:

  • ability to track significant changes to the program,
  • quarterly alterations to projects,
  • reconciliation of projects within periods,
  • tracking project acquittals.

The December capital works report incorporates quarterly and full year expenditure information on all projects included in the current program. It also identifies all variations to the 2001-02 program and presents all information at the project level according to departmental responsibility.

It is quite clear from this report that the 2001-02 capital works program, handed down in the budget, was always designed to defy the laws of probability. But in reality, this was a capital works program from a desperate government. The capital works were programmed to accommodate a suite of election promises. They were projects of a Belconnen pool kind-projects prone to be delayed and deferred in a post-election agenda.

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