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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2772 ..

performed within the department”, the financial systems “appear not to rigorously adhere to core financial management requirements” and that cost allocation “is not transparent”. Since the department was established in 2007, almost $900 million has been spent up until the report was issued without a performance framework. It is absolutely amazing that Ernst & Young had to recommend the development of key performance indicators when that should have been done years ago.

This culture of underperformance was again highlighted just recently—in the last few days, in fact—with the Treasurer having to table the amount of rollover and the amount of Treasurer’s advance that have had to be put forward. The rollover for the Department of Territory and Municipal Services includes $633,000 for the net cost of outputs and a rollover of $27.766 million for capital injection, in addition to the rollover of $429,000 of expenses on behalf of the territory for heritage grants. This is not the sign of a minister in control. These are not the financials of a department which is performing well and adhering to the high standards that the people of Canberra expect from the custodians of our budget.

In addition to that, we saw a Treasurer’s advance of $3,168,000 being issued to the Department of Territory and Municipal Services because they could not meet their expenses. And where was it? It was in that great agency ACTION—the very agency that Jon Stanhope a few weeks ago put out a media release slamming, saying that it was out of control. Of that $3.168 million, $2.066 million was for general operating cost pressures. That is a minister and an agency with no control whatsoever. That lack of control is hurting the taxpayers of Canberra. It is for that reason that the ACT opposition will not be supporting the ACT government’s budget.

Now, this budget and this particular part of the budget—the Territory and Municipal Services component—has some very important threshold questions that need to be asked, and the Greens in particular need to answer them. Zed Seselja spoke earlier, at about the time of the budget, of the need to prioritise street trees ahead of the arboretum. Jon Stanhope has cut $10 million from the trees out the front of people’s houses and poured it into trees at the national arboretum. We do not have $10 million to replant trees that are dying in Canberra’s suburbs, yet we do have $26 million to pour into the arboretum, in spite of all the other budget pressures that this government continues to talk about.

This is a clear line in the sand and the Greens have to choose. Are they going to be with the government on a $26 million arboretum push, which also takes $10 million out of suburban trees, or are they going to join the opposition in campaigning and advocating for families in Canberra who want street trees out the front of their house? A vote for this budget and a vote for this component within the budget is indeed a clear proclamation that Jon Stanhope’s approach of pouring money into the arboretum instead of street trees is the way to go. It is a clear opportunity for the Greens to show that they do not have a collectivist world view and that they are thinking about the individuals and the families of Canberra—that they are actually thinking about the urban amenity that Canberrans expect to be delivered by this government.

In addition to the cultural problems that were highlighted earlier when I spoke about the Ernst & Young report, just last week we had a good opportunity in the chamber to

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