Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 June 2005) . . Page.. 2056 ..
• social competence training for all detainees;
• pre release life skills programs; and
• increased opportunities for therapeutic interventions.
When the minister was asked whether the working group had been established, no-one, including officials, seemed to know whether it had been. We were given an answer to a question on notice that said, “Well, yes, actually we have established the working group and the first meeting was on 6 June 2005.” This was after the question was first asked. The question was: when was the working group actually established? This did not come out in the hearings and we look forward to the minister informing us. But it seems odd that the first meeting of this working group that was recommended and agreed to by the government in August occurred some eight months later and only after a question was asked in the estimates committee. Certainly, opposition members found that somewhat odd.
I do not have time to deal with all the other issues but I will quickly refer to the dragway. It emerged during the process that the government really has no plans to build this dragway. It has promised $8 million. It says with every other project that there is an escalator, yet on this one the Chief Minister says, “No. It doesn’t matter when we build it, it is only going to be $8 million.” So we can only conclude from that that the standard of this dragway, if it is ever built, will continue to get worse and worse as delays continue and as the costs blow out. So the government has demonstrated that it has no intention of building this dragway.
Mr Speaker, I might wrap up my comments, as I do not have the time to deal with other issues. I enjoyed the estimates process and I enjoyed the ability to scrutinise the government. This is a good dissenting report. The chair should not be offended that we have come up with a very good dissenting report and I commend it to her and to the Assembly.
MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.23): Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand up in this place and, along with my colleague Ms MacDonald, commend the report. Firstly, I would like to thank the committee secretaries for the dedication and commitment that they have put into this estimates process. The committee system in this place is upheld by some very talented individuals who time and time again prove their value to us as members. Thank you to all the secretaries, particularly, of course, Siobhan Leyne and Jane Nielson who exemplified this fine reputation during this process.
I would also like to record my thanks to Ms MacDonald for her efforts as chair of this committee. Ms MacDonald proved her ability to maintain order and keep the process running smoothly, sometimes, as I am sure many observed, in difficult and trying conditions created by those opposite. I thank her also for the guidance that she showed me during my first estimates process. I must say that I was disappointed by the cheap political stunts and point scoring of the opposition members of this committee, which brought the process into question time and time again.