Page 3143 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.26—Treasurer’s advance, $36,800,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (1.52 am): Over the four years to 2007-08, the use of the Treasurer’s advance varied from 33 per cent of the budget of $23 million in 2004-05 to 89 per cent of the Treasurer’s advance budget of $29 million in 2007-08. My view is that, in effect, it is becoming an inefficiency dividend: if you cannot manage your budget, if you cannot stick to budget, you simply come back to head office and get some more.

It is interesting to recall what happened in the last two weeks of June last year; that is for the 2007-08 financial year. Eleven allocations were made from the Treasurer’s advance and, given the very brief details provided about each of these allocations, a number of questions could be asked about whether these allocations complied fully with the requirements of the Financial Management Act. Moreover, for instance, TAMS, after using $10 million or 56 per cent of the Treasurer’s advance in 2006-07, then used $11 million or 40 per cent of the Treasurer’s advance in 2007-08. That is, TAMS applied for the lion’s share of the Treasurer’s advance in each of these years.

In 2008-09, the budget for the Treasurer’s advance is $32 million. As at 11 June, $4 million had been spent. I asked the Treasurer a question about the prospective use of the Treasurer’s advance in 2008-09 during estimates and the Treasurer has told me that 10 departments or agencies had either active or potential claims for funding from the Treasurer’s advance. These range from some larger organisations or departments such as education and training, JACS and, yes, again, TAMS, to the very small, such as Exhibition Park Corporation and the Legal Aid Commission. It will be most interesting to see how much of the balance of the $28 million is allocated by next Tuesday. More particularly, I will be seeking an insight into whether the Treasurer’s advance has become a refuge for poor management, be this poor budgeting or poor anticipation or poor reporting.

At this point, as we consider the quantum of the Treasurer’s advance for 2009-10, I will be looking for an appropriate scrutiny by the Treasurer of proposals for access to the Treasurer’s advance.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (1.55 am): I seek leave to table documents consisting of speeches ACT Greens MLAs planned to give in response to the budget, and to move that they be authorised for publication.

Leave granted.

MS BRESNAN: I present the following paper:

Budget reply in detail—Unread speeches.

I move:

That the paper be authorised for publication.

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