Page 83 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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We have also looked very closely at a number of the policy aspects of the agreement. We had discussions with the Greens during the negotiations on a number of them. Most of them we agree with in principle, but I think that there will be challenges faced by the Labor Party, the Greens and the Liberal Party in respect of the cost of some of these commitments and when they can actually be rolled out.

For instance, whilst the target of bus services every half an hour is a noble one, it does come with a very hefty price tag. We need to look at whether that is achievable and, if so, in what kind of time frame that could be achievable, particularly in the context of shrinking revenues. In relation to greenhouse targets, we have supported very strong and sensible targets for reducing emissions and for taking up renewable energy. We will be keeping the government to account on their record when it comes to dealing with this very serious issue.

There are a number of other aspects to the agreement which we will, of course, be looking at very closely. But in the end, regardless of what is in this agreement, we now have an opportunity in this new Assembly for genuine accountability. I think that the best place to ensure accountability of the executive is in the chamber, in the parliament, through question time and private members’ day. I think it is very important, when we are considering the number of sitting days and sitting weeks, to remember that the best way to scrutinise the government is to hold them to account in the chamber.

The best way for our Green colleagues to play the role that they have said they want to play in the new Assembly is to push for more sitting weeks. I think what has been put forward by the government is insufficient. It is going backwards from where they were in 2005 when they had a majority. We will be pushing for accountability, as we always do. We are not bound by any agreement with the Labor Party or the Greens, which I think gives us a fair degree of flexibility in prosecuting our case without fear or favour. Whether it is keeping the Greens accountable or keeping the government accountable, we will represent the people of the ACT in the way we believe is best.

We will hold the government to account, in particular, for their spending and for their management of the economy. We will hold them to account for their election promises. We will hold them to account for their other commitments, including the commitments that they have made in this parliamentary agreement.

Executive contracts

Papers and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Public Sector Management Act, pursuant to sections 31A and 79—Copies of executive contracts or instruments—

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