Page 2668 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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Ayes 7

Noes 10

Mr Barr

Ms Porter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Ms Burch

Mr Stanhope

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Hanson

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the negative.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.23): I will take my other 10 minutes as allocated. I am grateful that the Chief Minister is here, because I hope that he will use the opportunity of the debate on the line in relation to the Auditor-General to express his support for the independent umpire, someone who was appointed to that office by the Stanhope government. It will be most important that this debate is not concluded until the Chief Minister does so.

There was a little scurrying by the leader of the house out of the place to put out whatever press release it is. It is interesting that he has left.

I need to reiterate that the appropriation for the Auditor-General is probably one of the most important appropriations in this place. As the leader has said, we would like to see additional funding. That is what the recommendation of the estimates report is—that there be additional funding.

As I have said before, we do not have the power. The only person who has the power in this place to increase the appropriation for the Auditor-General is the Treasurer. If the Treasurer wants to move an amendment to this line to increase the appropriation for the Auditor-General, perhaps we could suspend debate on this line until a later time this week, while the Treasurer comes up with an amendment to increase the appropriation. We would welcome an increase in the appropriation to the Auditor-General; we would look forward to the possibility of voting for that. We would look forward to that; we would look forward to that possibility. But I do not think that that possibility is really on their radar. The cheap antics of the Labor Party here today show what disarray they are in and what a limited play book they have.

The position put forward by the opposition is simply that this is not our budget. This budget is going to drive the people of the ACT into debt for, by the Treasurer’s admission, at least seven years. And they will stay in debt for at least seven years, because this Treasurer has no ideas about how to address the issue. She says: “I have got a plan. It is in the budget.” It is a four-page plan which has no actions in it and no savings in this financial year that we are coming up to.

Probably the most important thing in the budget is the person who ensures that the money is spent well. It is not the Treasurer; she does not ensure that the money is spent well. It is the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General is the person who will help agencies to be more efficient, ensure that they deliver value-for-money services and ensure that they provide services to the people of the ACT that they deserve and expect. That is why there are recommendations in the estimates committee report to increase her funding.

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