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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 278 ..

to be notified in writing to the Speaker by 4.00 pm today;

(3) a non-Government member shall be elected chair of the Committee by the Committee;

(4) funds be provided by the Parliament to permit the engagement of external expertise to work with the Committee to facilitate the analysis of the Budget and the preparation of the report of the Committee;

(5) the Committee is to report by 22 June 2010;

(6) if the Assembly is not sitting when the Committee has completed its inquiry, the Committee may send its report to the Speaker or, in the absence of the Speaker, to the Deputy Speaker, who is authorised to give directions for its printing, publishing and circulation; and

(7) the foregoing provisions of this resolution so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

I have pleasure in proposing this motion, as I have done for a number of years, simply because it is one of the most important motions that the Assembly considers each and every year.

Mr Barr: May you have the pleasure of doing it for many years into the future.

MR SMYTH: Well, Ted did the same job, Andrew. You will get your chance to be chair of the estimates committee. It is important because it does involve scrutiny of the major economic and financial statement of the government of the day. In accord with the approach adopted in 2009 on the leadership of the committee, I am proposing that there be a member from the government, two members from the opposition and two members from the Greens party, and that a non-government member shall be elected as the chair.

We are moving this motion somewhat earlier than in previous years. There are a number of reasons for this. Before the 2008 committee was established, the committee secretariat actually tried to liaise with ministers’ offices but found it very found difficult to tie ministers down as it was not done by a formal committee, which of course is the correct process.

Indeed, there was some discussion about the attendance of the then Treasurer, Mr Stanhope, and his wanting to appear much later in the program, rather than at the start as Treasurer, to set the case for the budget. Indeed, last year there was a similar problem. It is important, given that the budget is not far away and therefore that the estimates process is just around the corner, that we do start putting in place the things that are needed.

Indeed, I understand this year that the Treasurer has consulted certainly with the leader of the Liberal Party about taking leave at that time. The only group or organisation that can grant leave is, of course, the committee. Well, the committee does not grant leave, but the committee is the group that will set the timetable. To

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