Page 3555 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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Uniting Church, Spence Children’s Cottage Association, Gordon Early Childhood Centre, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Salvation Army, Salvation Army Eastern Territory Social Work, Abbeyfield Society, St Vincent de Paul, YWCA, Burringiri, Wanniassa Scouts, Woden Community Service, Treehouse in the Park Early Education and Childcare Centre, and Association for Learning Mandarin in Australia.

Between them, those organisations, I can see from my notes, received $971,000 of the $1 million. As far as I am aware, the process was open, transparent and fully accountable. The grants have been awarded and in many instances, I think, spent.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Have all the funds for this program been fully expended? Can you guarantee that any further successful applications will meet the criteria for the fund and will have been through a rigorous and arms-length process?

MR STANHOPE: The last round was for $1 million. I just noticed in my notes a reference to $971,000. I must say that I do not know why the amount is $971,000 and not $1 million. There is a shortfall there of $29,000, which, I have to say, I do not quite understand. I am more than happy to get that information for Dr Foskey.

In relation to the program, it is run over two years. At this stage, it does not have a future in its current form. It is being reformatted. Of the funds that were initially allocated for future expenditure, the significant majority of them—in fact, two-thirds—have been sacrificed as departmental savings. The scheme will not be repeated in its current form. It is being revised to be broader and more encompassing; so, no, it will not continue in its current or existing form and some of the funds that initially had been identified have been sacrificed as departmental savings. I am happy to get better and more detailed information about that and provide it to Dr Foskey.

Auditor-General’s report—courts administration

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Attorney-General. The ACT Auditor-General, in her report on courts administration in the ACT, states:

There has been a continuing pattern in recent years of planned deficits, and actual deficits exceeding those planned. There appears to be a lack of effective action to resolve these deficits.

The auditor also notes that the major budget and expenditure issue is the consistent deficit budgets and deficit outcomes of recent years. Table 7 of the report indicates that the deficits before extraordinary items such as the bushfire and Eastman inquiries exceeded $2 million for two of the past three years. What are the reasons for these continuing deficits occurring?

MR STANHOPE: The reason is almost certainly the same as the reason that applied to the deficit that was produced by the courts in your term as Attorney-General, Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Stefaniak: I don’t think it was as big as yours; but go on.

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