Page 1396 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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Madam Deputy Speaker presented the following paper:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 1—Appropriation Bill 2008-2009 (No 3)—Speaker’s response, dated March 2009.

Appropriation Bill 2008-2009 (No 3)

[Cognate paper:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee report 1—government response]

Debate resumed from 26 February 2009, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I understand that it is the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill cognately with the government’s response to report 1 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. That being the case, I remind members that in debating order of the day No 1, executive business, they may also address their remarks to the government response to the committee report.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.12): Madam Deputy Speaker, the government’s response to the report of the public accounts committee will come as no surprise. I refer pretty much to the contemptuous way that it is being delivered and framed. There are 16 recommendations in the actual report. I note that three are agreed to, 12 are noted and one is not accepted. I guess that in a polite way this is the standard “up yours” type of response that we expect from this government.

The committee worked very hard to put this report together. The committee and the secretariat considered this over a long period of time within the short time frame that we had. Just to have things noted in the way that the government does with single one-line responses—noted, noted, noted, noted—I think is dreadfully contemptuous of the work that the members did. It is also contemptuous of the committee that was set up by this place to scrutinise what the government is doing.

Instead of answering the issues, instead of coming to grips with what was proposed, we have been shrugged off by a Treasurer who cannot even tell us what she will do. I note that the one recommendation that is not agreed to is recommendation 4. I will read the recommendation:

The committee recommends that the Treasurer provides to the Legislative Assembly a breakdown of the proportion of spending that is proposed in the Appropriation Bill (No. 3) that will be directed towards labour, plant and materials.

That is the fundamental of this bill. This bill is to save jobs. That is the fundamental premise. This bill is to save jobs. So you must know when you put these projects forward what percentage goes towards labour, otherwise you have got no idea. It is

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