Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 June 2009) . . Page.. 2669 ..
If that comes forward, I am sure that the opposition will look at it. I not only challenge the Chief Minister to state here openly his support for the office of the Auditor-General; I challenge the Treasurer to fully and appropriately fund the Auditor-General’s Office.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (12.27): I thought it was very interesting that Mr Corbell chose not to defend the line item, or his Chief Minister’s dreadful actions on Friday. Once again, he got up to try and make some veiled attack on both the Liberals and the Greens. His only response to this cutting of the Auditor-General’s funds, to the Chief Minister’s threats against the Auditor-General, was to stand up and try and force some vote here so he could then make some assertion that somehow the Liberals and the Greens are against the Auditor-General.
Ms Gallagher: Where’s the cut?
MR HANSON: The cut is in the result, Treasurer. This is what you do not understand. If your funding results in a decrease in her ability to conduct audits, that is the issue. It is not just about how much money you spray at things. We see this in health as well, don’t we? We see that you spend more than any jurisdiction other than the Northern Territory but you get just about the worst results. What we are seeing here is a government that can spend, spend, spend, but when it comes to the results—
Ms Gallagher: It’s not true.
MR HANSON: We are concerned here because the Auditor-General’s ability to conduct audits on your agencies is going to be cut from eight to six. That is the issue. Would Mr Corbell stand up and defend you or defend the Chief Minister? No. He just made another veiled attack on the Liberals and the opposition. He has now gone upstairs, probably to write a press release with some fanciful attacks on us about not having the guts or something.
Let us make it very clear: we will not be supporting this budget. Our leader has made that very clear. We are all unanimously in agreement—as is the majority of the community. We will be voting against this budget on Thursday.
Mr Seselja also offered the members of the government the ability, the opportunity, to stand up and defend the Chief Minister’s actions on Friday. He said, “Would anybody like to stand up in this place?” There was a deafening silence. Then Mr Hargreaves stood up and said, “No.” When given the opportunity to defend the Chief Minister, no-one did that. Mr Hargreaves stood up, thought about it, blinked and said, “No, I am not going to defend my Chief Minister, because I do not agree with him”—just as, when he was asked on Triple 6, “What do you think about the questions on notice?” he said: “Yes, they are fine. Nothing wrong with that.” Again, he disagreed with the Chief Minister.
One thing I will say about Mr Hargreaves is that he is old school. He is old school, and he does not try and deflect criticism on him: he takes it on the chin. There is no doubt that, whenever I have had a go at Mr Hargreaves—and there have been many,