Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 7 August 2008) . . Page.. 3031 ..
went ahead and reversed the decision from McLeod to create an independent authority but then took funding off them. They would not fund them for the things that had been promised. So, in effect, the government created an untenable situation, caused the budget to blow out and then blamed the commissioner for his faulty financial practice.
These are the documents that are at the heart of the functional review, and that is why the functional review must be tabled. It was interesting to hear the Chief Minister say they had accepted some but not all. So we cherry-picked the bits that we wanted. We did not give credibility to the entire report. They need to table the report so that we all know, in this place, and so that the public also knows, that the decisions that were made were well made.
The Chief Minister said on several occasions, “You need to focus on the outcomes.” So the end justifies the means. It is a matter of saying, “Forget the process, forget the public, forget the community, forget the committee, forget the Assembly, forget the standing orders; as long as I get what I arrogantly want and demand, it’s okay.” And that is the problem with this Chief Minister: his arrogance is getting in the way of good government. This report should be tabled this afternoon. These standing orders should be supported by all members of this Assembly. This should occur today. (Time expired.)
MR PRATT (Brindabella) (12.24): I support Dr Foskey’s motion and I wish to add my voice to the need to goad this government into reversing the arrogant position it has taken in relation to the functional review and, indeed, to the very question put here about releasing the document concerned.
The functional review impacted on all aspects of the territory and was espoused as having within it the evidence that supported the slash-and-burn budget of 2006. Where is the accountability and transparency of this government that should have allowed us, as a parliament, to understand the grounds for such earth-shattering changes to our community? The 2006 budget was quite an extraordinary piece of work, as was, of course, the functional review that was coupled with that. These were earth-shattering moments. This Assembly, in accordance with the normal Westminster tradition, had a duty to exercise on behalf of the people of this territory to analyse all of what had occurred. Of course, Mr Stanhope, in his arrogant fashion, has not allowed that to occur.
Picking up on a comment that the Chief Minister made earlier in this debate, I recall him saying words to this effect, “Despite the rationalisation, services in all areas have been enhanced.” That is what he said. How can he say that in the spirit of this debate, when we know, just by taking a handful of examples, that this cannot be true? We know that, as a result of the knee-jerk slash-and-burn rationalisation in mid-2006, the bus network was decimated. There was no enhancing of services there as a consequence of the rationalisation exercise.
The Chief Minister had the hide to stand there today and say, “You people in the Assembly, you mere mortals in the ACT Assembly, don’t need to review the processes that we undertook as a government when we went through a rationalisation, because everything was just dandy, because all the services were enhanced and nothing suffered.” In fact, the reason that the Assembly wants and needs to scrutinise