Page 2333 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 28 June 2005

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To conclude, Mr Speaker: it is good that there are moves to improve security and to upgrade the look of the public entrance to the Assembly. Certainly these are issues that are overdue and have been dragging for quite some time. However, it is my concern, from an 2005-06 budget point of view, that the 600K capital works funding for this project is not sufficient; that it is not sufficient for undertaking such work properly; and that the works will not be completed by the forecast completion date of May 2006.

Of course, there are the other concerns raised about increasing the resources in this place to better serve the members. Certainly we need to provide additional resources so that our staff can do a better job to support MLAs. I would hope that more urgent adjustments are taken in future to look to that concern as well.

MR SPEAKER: Before we press on, can I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of 75 students from Gordon primary school, years 5 and 6. Welcome!

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.45): Very briefly, Mr Speaker, just responding to Mr Pratt’s concerns regarding security, if I could just add something to it: each time I come here I think threats to my wellbeing are greater in the area of psychological damage than they would be in relation to physical harm. I guess the only other thing we can draw out of this is—and let me say to members that I have worked on committees, I have chaired estimates committees, I have chaired the public accounts committee and have conducted certain inquiries, as chair of the public accounts committee—that I recognise the work that the Secretariat does.

It is now staple for each of the members, as they report to the Assembly on committee findings, to recognise the work that the Secretariat does and recognise the work that the Secretariat does in very short time frames from time to time. However, we also have to recognise that there is the distinct prospect of Parkinson’s law operating within the resources that are available in as much as we do seem to get things done on deadline anyway. I think that, if members do recognise the workload that Secretariat staff do carry, we ought take that into account in the way we work on the committees and get a little bit more disciplined, if need be.

I do want to recognise—and I think it should be recognised—the caring attitude toward Secretariat staff that was embodied in Mr Mulcahy’s speech. I am sure that, if we could all emulate that attitude, we would all work a whole lot better together.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.2—ACT Executive, $4,749,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling 4,749,000.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (11.48): I do not have too many comments on this area of expenditure and there were not a lot of issues that emerged within the estimates proceedings, but there was concern in relation to this matter, which provides the ministerial support, that employee expenses in the executive had increased by 30 per cent in 2003-04 and by 24.5 per cent in 2004-05. By contrast, the increase in 2005-06 was

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