Page 4439 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009
A related question is: how much could her work add towards the decision making? From my point of view, not being a health expert, one of the most interesting issues in this is the valuation issue in paragraph 2(e) of the motion. There certainly is some attraction in getting an independent body to look at that. However, think about the resources of the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General has not been valuing a lot of hospitals. As Ms Bresnan said, the Auditor-General does not have a huge amount of expertise in valuing hospitals.
Mr Hanson: What’s that, Caroline?
MS LE COUTEUR: I have the original of it, too, assuming it is what I think it is; I cannot read it from here.
We already have had three valuations done of the hospital and I suspect it is likely that the Auditor-General would have to buy in external expertise and she would probably find that she was buying in the expertise that one or both of the proponents have already bought in. It is a bit of a waste of money to do that.
The other comment that the Liberal Party have made is that the Greens, in not supporting this, are clearly against consultation and examination of this. That is not at all what we are against. If anything is ever said about the Greens, it is possibly that we are into process and consultation, not against it. But the question as far as this goes is: how much would doing this process add to the public consultation and the debate, given the huge cost in terms of the independence of the Auditor-General in terms of the performance audits that she would not be able to do, in terms of the fact that she clearly does not have expertise in some of the issues that are being looked at here? It is not at all clear to us, given the cost, financial and otherwise, of trying to do this, the cost of the Auditor-General’s independence, the cost financially to the other things she should do, the cost, because this is not her area of expertise, of added public consultation. The government is doing some public consultation. It will be in an appropriation bill, which means it will come to an Assembly inquiry, be it the PAC or a select committee inquiry, and at that stage we will be able to go through all the issues of valuation, all the issues that we have got here.
Whilst I have sympathy for the idea of more public consultation and more independent analysis—I am not against those—given all the problems of this suggestion, this is not a motion that will address the issue in a useful fashion.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2 pm.
Questions without notice
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in its draft report on the distribution of goods and services tax revenue and healthcare grants, the Grants