Page 4466 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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It is interesting to note this statement on page 5 of the purported financial analysis:

In summary, while generally the focus of financial analysis is on the cash impacts, in this case, impacts on the operating budget and the balance sheet are important to consider.

Yes, they are, but when you go into the detail, there are three footnotes that members should read. For instance, footnote 1 states:

The ‘build’ scenario is included in the analysis as a useful comparator. It should be noted, however, that from a service delivery perspective, the Bruce site is the most efficacious location for north side public hospital services. Further, the analysis is not based on a specific alternative site for construction.

So if we cannot buy it, we cannot build it there. But it is the best site and we are basing our numbers on that because we are not going to base it on building it in Gungahlin or somewhere else. These figures do not stack up.

Ms Gallagher: Read the back page, Brendan.

MR SMYTH: I will get to the back page; if you give me an extension of time I will go right through the entire document. Ten minutes is not going to be enough.

Ms Gallagher: No, sorry. My life is not long enough to have to sit here and listen to you go on for another 10 minutes.

MR SMYTH: You will not give me an extension? There you go. She says, “Read the back page,” but she will not give me an extension in order to get there. So we have this problem. The Greens’ case is blown to pieces because they did not do their homework.

Ms Bresnan: Blown to pieces?

MR SMYTH: Blown to pieces. “You can’t do this because it’s against the legislation.” Well, it is quite clearly within the bounds of the legislation. We ask the auditor to validate these figures and the government is afraid. The government do not want the Auditor-General to see these figures because they are scared of scrutiny. They are afraid to have their assumptions tested, and that is a shame. This is an important issue. The Treasurer seeks to make it economic based. It is about the health future of the people of the ACT, and we all know the importance of a perfectly functioning health system to the people of the ACT.

It was interesting when you, Madam Assistant Speaker Le Couteur, came in and talked about the independence of the Auditor-General. The independence is assured. It was assured in 2001 when Ms Tucker moved her motion. It is assured now.

We had Mr Corbell’s little foray into the field. He said: “There are fundamental issues here. We’re asking the auditor to make a decision.” We are not. We are asking the auditor to validate the process, to look at the contracts and say that they have been complied with, to look at the financial analysis and tell us whether or not it is accurate,

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