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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1565 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

That is an interesting claim. I bring to the attention of the Chief Minister the fact that we have stopped the draft budget process. We have stopped tabling the monthly statistics from the hospitals. On the conduct of good governance, his opening line was:

The government has already taken steps to implement the code. Planning has started for a comprehensive involvement of the community in the budget process.

What a joke! This is the biggest joke of the statement. When did we get the detail that might allow the community to have this comprehensive involvement in the budget process? The day after most of the consultation had finished. The whole of the consultation process was covered by the gloom cast by the lack of detail from the Treasurer. The detail turned up on Maundy Thursday. It was slipped in just before the long weekend. So much for this code and governing in the most open manner possible.

It is a shame the government should make these glib statements when it seems they have absolutely no intention of sticking to them. We could go into the detail of millions versus billions and whether there was debt or not.

The Chief Minister made other promises about implementing his government's code of good government. I question the last point:

We will substantially complete the ministerial code of conduct and reforms to question time and the timing of debates by March 2002.

I might have missed the tabling of the ministerial code of conduct or perhaps it is still coming, but March 2002 has well and truly gone.

The ministerial statement talked about the size of the Assembly. I guess we will have to wait to see the ALP submission on that.

On the social plan for Canberra, the Chief Minister talked about the work undertaken for the Smith Family and the report that found that 13 per cent of all Australians live in poverty. The Chief Minister might read the results of the poverty task force, a report specifically about the ACT and following which we put forward a number of programs in the existing budget on addressing poverty and early intervention. The size of the problem has already been stated. You need to read the report, Chief Minister. It is very informative. I hope you read it before you put together your coming budget.

The Chief Minister went on to speak about Labor's agenda for women and said that Labor would propose the establishment of a Assembly select committee to look at issues affecting women. I applaud you on that, but committee membership is no substitute for cabinet membership. This is a cabinet that has no women. There are two new Labor members who could reasonably take positions in cabinet. We hear constant complaint from the Chief Minister about how overworked he is. We certainly hear constant complaint from the community about how inaccessible he is. Perhaps it is time you bit the bullet and promoted one of your colleagues. If you are so overworked, Chief Minister, the answer is quite simple.

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