Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2266 ..
I am not saying at this point in time exactly how that should occur, but I think that it will require ongoing resourcing for the Auditor-General to pursue the possibilities and may lead eventually to an increase in resourcing being required on a permanent basis to allow that office to do this further work.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure-part 1.4-Chief Minister's, $60,220,000 (net cost of outputs), $7,838,000 (capital injection) and $3,000,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $71,058,000.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.46): I will speak to the general issue and then move an amendment at the end, if I may, Mr Deputy Speaker.
Chief Minister's is a very important part of the entire budget as it has so many areas that would normally warrant their own departments in other jurisdictions but, unfortunately, we cannot have them because of the small size of this Assembly, so what we have in Chief Minister's is everything from business through to multiculturalism, a women's area and the Office of Sustainability.
Chief Minister's is a very important part of the budget because it is a part of the budget that influences what so many of what we call the line departments will do. The lack of attention to some of the other areas clearly indicates a lack of drive by the Chief Minister in these areas or the ministers responsible for those parts of the portfolio. As Ms Tucker so rightly said following discussions in the Public Accounts Committee on the Office of Sustainability, it is a good concept, it has been put in place, but we are yet to see either the output of that office or the fact that what the government said it would do will actually take place.
That is certainly something the Public Accounts Committee will be keeping a very strong eye on, because if the Office of Sustainability is to do what it is intended to do it needs to be resourced properly, it needs to be given the respect that it requires to influence other departments, it needs to see the cabinet submissions and bills and it needs to be able to comment. That is certainly something the Public Accounts Committee will be keeping an eye on over the coming years.
One of the great disappointments of this budget is the number of reports which the government had before and released after the budget and reports which were tabled in this place before the budget and to which the government has not bothered to respond. Two spring to mind. One is the report of the Connors inquiry, which I am sure we will get to later. The other is the report of the Select Committee on the Status of Women, which reported to the government in late 2002 and which has been entirely ignored by the government in this budget.
There were 83 recommendations about half of the population of this ACT and which have an effect on all of the population of the ACT and they have been absolutely ignored. The evidence that unfolded in the Estimates Committee process-I am sure Mrs Dunne will have a few words to say on this a little bit later-about how not a single submission or bid was put forward near the budget rounds to attempt to address any of those specific recommendations was, I think, a sad indictment of a government