Page 3608 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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anyway. The second quarterly report becomes a half-yearly report, and that should take place. The third quarterly report will be available at about the same time as the estimated outcome published in the annual budget; so, because the budget cycle starts at the beginning of the year and a budget comes down in May, you probably have more information contained in the budget.

For those members who may be a little less familiar with what goes on with preparing a set of books, particularly for a commercially oriented organisation, the case is that there are lots of balance day adjustments and measurements to be done for accruals, unpaid bills, unpaid leave and depreciation and a whole lot of figuring that needs to happen each time you want to prepare a decent set of books. I was instrumental in this place in the past, from opposition actually, of relieving government of the task of preparing monthly statements because they were just rubbish and because there just was not time to do all of the balance day adjustments and prepare a set of books that would be truly indicative of where the business was each month.

We went back to quarterly reporting, which is the reporting we have for government agencies. I think that works well and generally does not raise much debate anyway as those reports come down. For commercially oriented entities, this requires a lot of work to be done for no good purpose, as I have said. The first quarter is just too fresh in the year. The half-yearly one will be done. The third quarter one would be being done in parallel with the preparation of the budget and you are going to get the budget in the first week in May. Therefore, I think that the information needs of Assembly members are being and will be satisfied anyway, so that some of the work that goes into that would be a futile exercise.

As I said, we are happy to accept the changes proposed to bring the bill into line with the reporting requirements of the annual report legislation. In relation to the amendment that Dr Foskey has indicated she will move, the government will not be supporting that. Already today the Chief Minister has stood in this place and clearly articulated in relation to another bill why an organisation’s direction can be skewed if everything it does is required to be looked at through a particular prism. Particularly with the commercial organisations that we have, if we have a need for awareness of social issues or environmental issues, they must be, I think, articulated in the objectives of each of the organisations, as opposed to saying that everybody on the board has to have some understandings, perceptions or values. So we will not be supporting that. We will be supporting most of Mr Mulcahy’s amendments. I thank members for their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

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