Page 335 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 December 2008

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Is it to be assumed that when a report is delivered we just say, “I do not need to read it. It is manna from heaven. Agree with every word.” I am in receipt of advice from my senior officials which advises that there are aspects of this report which cause them quite serious concern if they are to be implemented in the fashion proposed by the Auditor-General. I will flesh out that advice with my officials and, indeed, I will discuss that advice in detail with the Auditor-General when I meet her. At this stage I have been invited to meet her, and I look forward very much to the meeting. I look forward to discussing with her, the Auditor-General, “What precisely did you mean by this statement, and what is your evidence for it?” I look forward to that conversation with the Auditor-General.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary question?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, why have you decided to attack the messenger both here and on ABC local radio and undermine her, rather than accept the findings that she made?

MR STANHOPE: I did just answer that question, Mr Speaker. I just answered that question quite fully. I am entitled to actually think for myself, as are my officials. Indeed, I would be devastated if it were seriously to be suggested that the government should, in relation to every report which is delivered to it, accept without comment or question everything that is contained within the report. This is an interesting precedent, which I will raise in the future with members of the Liberal Party, in relation to other reports which perhaps the government is vigorously pursuing to implementation, when you raise objections. The Liberal Party position is that you do not question, you do not ask; you—

Mrs Dunne: No.

Mr Smyth: You’ve said you accept it but then on the other hand you reject it.

MR STANHOPE: That is not what I said at all. That is not what I said at all, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: You accepted all recommendations.

MR STANHOPE: To suggest that every word, every innuendo, every sentence, every finding, should be accepted without question is absolutely remarkable. You know it is nonsense. You know it is confected political nonsense. We have the capacity to think and we have the capacity to act in the ways that we believe to be in the best interests of the community, and that is what we will do.

Environment—emissions trading scheme

MS HUNTER: I have a question for the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister is aware of concerns raised by the Australia Institute, among others, that the emissions trading scheme proposed in Australia will put a floor under emissions as well as a cap and that any significant reductions made, say, in the ACT would simply be matched by the opportunity to increase emissions in other parts of Australia.

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