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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 987 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

We also had concerns about the language of the 2002/03 budget consultation document. That language made it very difficult to engage laypersons in the community or indeed community groups and encourage their participation in the process. Apart from timing issues, which I would suggest made that impossible, the language is not user friendly. We said that was especially disappointing, given that the document purports to be designed to encourage community engagement.

The committee accordingly made two recommendations. The first recommendation was:

that the Assembly note the difficulties for any committee inquiry into Budget-related matters that does not have the benefit of a whole-of-government perspective to be provided to the community and the committee at the beginning of the Budget development process.

In other words, if the government is going to have an input and put out budget papers, it should do so at the start of the inquiry, not towards the end.

The second recommendation was:

that the government carefully and thoughtfully consider matters raised in the submissions to this committee as it formulates the 2002-03 Budget.

We, of course, authorise publication of all the submissions. The full submissions have been forwarded to the Chief Minister and Attorney-General, along with a copy of this report.

Again, in closing, I thank my committee colleagues and Rod Power for their diligence in the conduct of this inquiry.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Environment-Standing Committee

Report No 2

Debate resumed from 9 April 2002, on motion by Mrs Dunne:

That the report be noted.

MR HARGREAVES (11.37): Mr Speaker, I have no further comment on that matter.

MS DUNDAS (11.38): I would like to draw the attention of the Assembly and the government to some key points in this report. As there appears to be broad support in this Assembly for sustainability, we must provide the resources to ensure that the opportunities to secure a sustainable future are not passed over. As some of the organisations in their submissions to the inquiry stated, funding for the environment and heritage was largely insufficient to attend to the basic tasks of maintaining the environment, let alone develop any services. I think this is a sad reflection on how we value the environment.

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