Page 4416 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 November 2005

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As usual, he has got it wrong. It is a normal part of processing. In terms of that sort of terminology, it is the job of a chief financial officer to look at all aspects of an organisation. I would be aghast if the contrary to that job description were advertised in the paper, as Mr Pratt would have it. Mr Pratt would have it that we do not want anybody to look at the efficacy of our financial systems. He would have it deliberately in their duty statements that they are not to look at whether their financial statements are good, bad or indifferent. My answer to Mr Pratt is that it is a normal part of recruitment processes. I do not see anything untoward about it.

MR PRATT: I have a supplementary question. Minister, as there are 44 staff in the corporate services area of the expanded ESA, why are there not sufficient resources already available within the ESA to enable this activity to be undertaken in the normal course of events?

MR HARGREAVES: As I indicated in my earlier answer, this advertisement is about a replacement position. The advertisement is not about an additional person on the books; it is about a replacement.


MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the minister for corrections. Minister, the government has always stated that the new prison would be fully funded, that is, the cost of the prison would be met from current revenue. A consequence of this decision is that, as we saw in the May 2005 budget, the government had to allocate an additional $18.5 million to cover the increase in construction costs over the three years since the project was first announced.

Minister, why did your government decide to fund the prison from current revenue, rather than from borrowings? Did the business case for the prison contemplate alternative means for funding the prison, such as borrowings?

MR STANHOPE: Cabinet took the decision to budget fund the prison. It is a matter of record. The prison has been funded. I would have to look at the documentation to confirm whether or not there was a discussion about alternative funding methods. I am happy to do that. I imagine that there was, but I will confirm that. Ultimately, as has been reported, cabinet took the decision to fully budget fund the prison. Funding of $128 million for the prison has been appropriated. That will be the cost of the prison.

Mr Smyth: One hundred and twenty eight million has been appropriated?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, $128 million has been appropriated. Didn’t you look at the budget? Are you the shadow Treasurer? When was the last time you looked at a budget? Did you pay any attention? Here it is. It is the single biggest item that has been appropriated. The fact that it has been appropriated to the tune of $128 million is, of course, a sign of the strength of this economy. The single biggest capital works project undertaken since self-government is fully appropriated. There is $128 million sitting there in the budget for the construction of the prison.

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