Page 4463 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Ms Tucker refers something, when the Greens refer something, via the Assembly. And let us remember that the Auditor-General is a creature of the Assembly. She works to the Assembly; her reports come through that chair. She is responsible to us as members and it is quite within our rights, as evidenced by Ms Tucker in 2001, when she referred an issue of concern to the Auditor-General and the Assembly backed her.
There were amendments by Mr Berry and Mr Rugendyke. It is interesting that none of the three are still here with us. Perhaps they paid the price for breaking the law! But it is quite within the rights of this place to refer an issue and to ask the Auditor-General to conduct an audit. Whether the auditor does it or not is a decision for the Auditor-General. We cannot force or make them do it; it is their decision. But we do have the right to vote on these issues. So they are just wrong, in the attack that Ms Bresnan launched on this motion. And when the leader of the Greens cannot get her facts straight and tells people things that are just not true, Ms Bresnan comes down and has to correct that mess.
The problem for the Greens in this debate is that they are simply wrong. They have not put together a cogent argument as to why this should not go to the Auditor-General. The basic premise was “we can’t do it because it’s illegal”. Well, it is not. The Assembly has done it before. There is precedent; we can do it. The Assembly, in fact, by a motion, can make many things happen. They can refer this matter to the Auditor-General, and it is a reasonable thing to do. The minister says: “Here’s the financial analysis. It’s an accounting treatment; that’s all it is.”
Ms Gallagher: No, it is not. That is not the case.
MR SMYTH: “We’re just adjusting the bottom line on a couple of scenarios.” But when she is asked, “Where’s the analysis?” she admits there is no analysis.
Ms Gallagher: No, that is not true.
MR SMYTH: Why is the Treasurer so scared of scrutiny?
Ms Gallagher: That is not true, Brendan.
MR SMYTH: She was asked for a cost-benefit analysis.
Ms Gallagher: You stand up here and repeatedly mislead the Assembly with those statements.
MR SMYTH: You said this morning that there is no cost-benefit analysis.
Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker. Can we stop the clock?
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Stop the clock, please.
Mr Seselja: I would ask you to ask Ms Gallagher to withdraw. If she is going to make those kinds of claims, she should make them in a substantive motion. Ms Gallagher