Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2851 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I make those points because they are relevant to the Chief Minister's portfolio and appropriation. We are spending almost $70 million in this portfolio but the level of transparency is wanting and the level of delivery on promises is wanting. It is a lazy budget. It is a budget that does not demonstrate a clear vision-it is a vision which is, at best, fractured. It is a document which, above all, is secretive-secretive about performance indicators, secretive about exactly where you can find ministerial advice as a recorded item.
We were in trouble because we used to show where you could find ministerial advice in the budget papers. They are going to get into trouble because you can't see where that is anymore. It has been removed. The open and accountable government has hidden the figures. If I am wrong, point to where the cost of ministerial advice is recorded in these budget papers. Of course, it isn't. Mr Speaker, there are a lot of questions to be asked about this. Perhaps the second Labor budget will be more open and transparent than the first, but I have serious doubts that this will be the case.
MRS DUNNE (4.19): Mr Speaker, in rising to speak to the appropriations for the Chief Minister's Department, I am scratching my head literally at what we have had offered to us, dished up, as the Office of Sustainability. As the Chief Minister was listing the way that we have characterised this government's budget, I can in all honesty say that I wrote down in preparation for speaking now that this budget and this government are lazy and secretive, especially when it comes to the Office of Sustainability.
The concept is a brilliant one. It is entirely laudable to have an overarching group of people of high qualification who know what they are talking about informing us on every aspect of what this government or any other government does, so that we have a full account of the social, economic and environmental consequences of the actions of the government. But what do we have from this government? We have window-dressing.
We have had some election commitments, but when you sit down and look at the amount the government is providing in that regard you find that it is paltry. A mere $375,000 is being provided over the course of this budget to do all that, to have an overarching look at the economic, social and environmental impact of all the policies being developed across this place. The government has provided $375,000 to do that, but it will not be able to do what it wants to do. Why? The government has recruited two or three highly qualified and well-intentioned people, but they have nothing to do because there is no definition of sustainability.
As I said in this place on 27 June after the Chief Minister launched the discussion paper, we have four ministers here who talk all the time about sustainability, but they have no definition of it. These are four ministers in search of sustainability. All I can say is that I hope that Mr Wood has found the magic formula by the time he comes back from Johannesburg. When Mr Wood comes back from Johannesburg, I hope that he knows something about sustainability, because at this stage, at this time of the election cycle, this government knows nothing about sustainability.
All we have is window-dressing, with a little bit of money and a couple of people being provided. But what will happen when we actually get down to the crux of the matter? We discovered that in the estimates process when Ms Dundas asked whether the Office of Sustainability would have a role in looking at the Gungahlin Drive extension. The