Page 3610 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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MR BARR: What I can indicate is what I have announced as part of this particular process and what I alluded to in my introductory remarks for the legislation in my tabling speech, which was that we will consult with stakeholders. The proposal for the legislation is that it would not begin operation until the middle of 2009, so there is plenty of time for that consultation.

We do recognise that the costs that are associated with managing this particular aspect of consumer protection through the Department of Justice and Community Safety would be in the order of about $320,000 per year. So it is not a particularly significant cost. The costs of running the consolidated tribunal are met by combining a range of already existing budgets for the existing tribunals.

The particular assertion that has been made again by the Liberal Party, that the government was seeking to put a secret tax in place to fund the entire operation of a consolidated tribunal, has again been absolutely proven to be false and is yet another example of the lengths that the Leader of the Opposition will go to to distort the truth in what could only be described as one of the more outrageous claims that he has put his name to in recent times.

I note that he continues—in spite of all of the evidence, in spite of the tabling of the bill—to argue to media outlets and others that this is somehow a secret tax. He knows that it is not in the bill. He knows that he is wrong. I look forward to him, later tonight, withdrawing those particular allegations and withdrawing each of these pamphlets. He should go round and personally collect each one of them and take them where they belong, to a recycling centre.

Department of Territory and Municipal Services

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, I refer to a memo that was issued by the chief executive of your department on 26 June 2008 in which he said the senior management team is “to examine the budgetary pressures on TAMS” and that measures will be required “to help contain spending for the first half of the year”.

Minister, why is the budgetary position of your department in such a state that your chief executive has had to initiate a comprehensive review of resource allocation and financial management?

MR HARGREAVES: Firstly, Mr Speaker, I reject the imputation that Mr Stefaniak makes on TAMS. I congratulate the chief executive, Mike Zissler, for having a prudent approach to the management of his department.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Stefaniak?

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why does the review of your department’s budgetary position require the use of independent expertise?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I thank Mr Stefaniak for the question. When you consider how much money TAMS administers on behalf of the

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