Page 2047 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 21 June 2005

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comments on things where we did not win the argument either. We felt that the community should have the right to know that we did not agree with those things and that there was another opinion being put out there. We could have put in more—Ms Porter and I had a conversation about other things and whether we should put them in—but we decided that it was better to let the executive make response to that because it is their area.

I note that I have just taken up 13 minutes in talking about the dissenting report and not about the report. I have talked about the process. The estimates committee report itself is no trailblazer. I don’t believe for one moment that there will be people out in the community saying that they want to get their hands on a copy of the 2005-06 estimates committee report on the 2005-06 appropriation bill. But it does what it is supposed to do. It goes through and looks at the issues that were discussed from all sides, not just from the government side, not just from the opposition side, and certainly not just from the crossbench. It looks at the arguments that were put and it outlines them.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for their invaluable support. Without them I couldn’t have got through these last couple of months as chair. I thank Robina Jaffray, Anne Shannon, Celeste Italiano, Barbara Locke, Trish Carling, Jane Nielson and Siobhan Leyne for their support as secretaries and all the people from Hansard, who did a sterling job getting the daily transcript to us in a very quick fashion. Most of all I would like to particularly say thank you very much to Jane Nielson and Siobhan Leyne. I have learnt a lot about the standing orders in the period of about three weeks—and over the past couple of months—more so than I did in my first term in this Assembly. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (10.49): I rise to also offer some remarks on the estimates committee report and the dissenting report prepared by Mr Seselja and me. I want to focus on the main elements of the report and not get distracted as Ms MacDonald did but, before I do that, I would say in relation to the dissenting report that it was a considered document. We have been encouraged in some respects by some of the recommendations contained in the main report and, to the extent of my level of confidence in the early hours of this morning, I believe the report Mr Seselja and I prepared deals with issues that were not adequately addressed or themes that we did not feel were appropriate.

We worked on this very diligently, as did our officers. Mr Seselja and I conferred finally at 1.30 this morning on the last changes to this document, having put in many hours on it. I resumed work on it at six o’clock this morning until it was lodged with the office at about a quarter past seven. A lot of work has gone into this; it is a considered document; it is not full of rhetoric. Treasurer, I know you will find it interesting when your Treasury officials no doubt go through it. I hope you will look at it carefully and in the constructive light in which it has been offered, in the hope that in future years some of the measures we are suggesting might be taken into account.

The budget and estimates processes tell us many things about the government, most of which I do not think the government really wants to deal with. Certainly, as is pointed out in the main report, over the past four years budgeted expenditure outcomes have continued to exceed budget estimates by about $680 million. That represents something in the order of an average overrun of about $172 million per annum. Of course,

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