Page 4116 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2005

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It is undeniable: a process such as the one we go through in budgeting, priority setting and setting up structures that deliver government services could benefit from external, independent and dispassionate review. That is why businesses have a thing called internal audit. That is why we have audits. Every business knows that it needs a second view.

This government has been in place for four years and it intends to be in place for many years to come. It is timely that we look at our processes of priority setting, the structures we have in place to deliver services, and the prospect of rejigging what we do to be able to meet the highest priorities.

Mr Smyth’s previous question was about the number of promises that the government has on its schedule to deliver. As the Chief Minister said, we intend to deliver on those. But it is difficult. You know that it is difficult. You know that every government works with limited resources. You know that there are always demands that exceed capacity.

There will be a fresh set of eyes, because a couple of quite knowledgeable gentlemen are involved in this review. I can do nothing but assist government in setting and reviewing its priorities and the structures whereby it delivers its services. It is a positive thing in which to be involved. As I said, I will certainly be having my four pence worth.

MR MULCAHY: Thank you, Treasurer, for a most comprehensive answer. My Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Could the Treasurer indicate the cost of this review?

MR QUINLAN: No, I cannot. I will take that on notice.

Anti-terrorism legislation

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, you complained recently that you were left out of a phone hook-up between the states and the commonwealth concerning the commonwealth’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation and, as a result, you did not know what had transpired between the Labor premiers and the federal government. Are you so out on a limb in the Labor Party that even the Labor premiers will not share information with you?


MR STEFANIAK: I have a supplementary question. Attorney, has that been a lesson to you concerning the necessity for staying in negotiations and retaining the trust of the other parties?

MR STANHOPE: No, it has not. The question does allow us to speculate in the context of the anti-terrorism legislation to which Mr Stefaniak refers about what Mr Stefaniak would have done as Attorney-General or what Mr Smyth would have done as Chief Minister were our roles reversed. One is left to ask: what aspects of that initial package would Mr Stefaniak and Mr Smyth have signed up to? Would they have agreed to the detention of Australians without any judicial oversight at all? One assumes that

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