Page 3941 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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As I said, I would encourage the wider community to make submissions on the proposals which I have put forward in this paper, and I commend the paper and its recommendations to members for their consideration and to interested stakeholders for their response.

Delivery of government services in the community

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Mr Speaker has received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, the Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Dunne be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Delivery of ACT government services in the community.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.13): The delivery of government services is vitally important to all areas of the community in the ACT. Delivering government services is the bread and butter of good government. Whether it is building a bridge, issuing an emergency warning, providing care to a child in hospital or elsewhere, addressing isolation among the elderly, running a vehicle leasing company or undertaking a review of the budget, we are talking about delivery of government services.

The people doing this important work are spending taxpayers’ funds. The people who oversee it and set the priorities are making decisions about how taxpayers’ money should be spent. Taxpayers deserve a good return on their investment and in this case they deserve good government services.

But the Stanhope government has betrayed the trust of the people time and again in the way we have seen the systematic breakdown in the delivery of services across almost every aspect of ACT life: the building of the Tharwa bridge—or the failure to do so—the failure to issue emergency warnings on 18 January 2003, and the many failures in care and protection.

Whether it is the number of children who are missing out on care and protection—who are not getting appropriate treatment at hospitals and elsewhere—the elderly people who are living in isolation despite large amounts of money being spent, or the failures of Rhodium Asset Solutions, the people have been losing out. I think it is ironic that today the Chief Minister tabled yet another statement of corporate intent in relation to Rhodium Asset Solutions. Of course, we also have the failure of transparency in the review of the budget of 2006, which resulted in draconian decisions to cut without any reasons for doing so. Whether it is higher level policy or basic bread and butter policy, the people of the ACT have been losing out under the Stanhope government.

I am going to spend some time dwelling on some of the multitude of issues that have come across my desk in the last little while that illustrate the failures. I will start with one of the very important areas which seems to be always under the hammer. What I

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