Page 1714 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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At this stage the response has been a little rocky. I would have hoped for a national memorial to the Boer War but there isn’t one. I think that, of all the wars that we as a nation contributed to—of course the Boer War did not conclude until after federation—the only war in which Australians served as Australians that is not commemorated by a significant memorial in the national capital or on Anzac Parade is, in fact, the Boer War. I think that is an unfortunate omission. There is a Boer War veteran buried at St John’s and there is indeed a Boer War veteran buried in the Queanbeyan Riverside Cemetery.

MR SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired.

Mr Rob Tonkin

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, the Auditor-General has found, amongst other irregularities, that the Office of the Special Adviser’s annual report did not meet the requirements of the Annual Reports Act 2004 or the annual reports directions. Minister, what action will be taken to rectify the deficient reporting of the OSA?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Stefaniak for the question. The difficulty I have in taking any action in relation to the perceived shortcoming in the meeting by Mr Tonkin of obligations under the annual reports directions is that, of course, Mr Tonkin is now a retired officer. He was the officer responsible for lodging the report and the officer who, apparently, in the opinion of the Auditor-General, did not comply with the direction, and that is what this is, of course—a direction, nothing more. I believe that the officer concerned did make an annual report but it did not find favour with the Auditor-General. I do not quite know the basis of the Auditor-General’s reason for that, but the position is that the officer concerned in the alleged lapse of commitment to the annual reports directions is no longer in the employ of the ACT government; he has retired, which, of course, really does raise some interesting questions in relation to the Liberal Party’s dogged pursuit of a retired public servant.

In relation to the particular issue of Mr Tonkin’s alleged recalcitrance in relation to a commitment to the letter of the annual reports directions, all I can do is tut-tut. But in relation to the future, in relation to my government and my agencies, I will, of course, be insisting, as always, on the full and appropriate commitment to and implementation of annual report directions and guidelines. I think it is important that we do.

It being 3.00 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2005-2006

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (3.00): I present the Appropriation Bill 2005-2006, together with its explanatory statement, and the following papers:

Human Rights Act, pursuant to section 37—Compatibility statement, dated 2 May 2005.

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