Page 181 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 16 February 2011

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, there was. Just ask the question, Mr Hargreaves, or sit down.

MR HARGREAVES: Can the Chief Minister please outline the next steps in the government’s own analysis of the detail of the Hawke review and whether those people sleepwalking opposite will make any effect on it?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, I do not want to have to continue to ask you to not throw unnecessary elements of your question into it.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves: On a very short response, Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Hargreaves.

Mrs Dunne: Sit down.

Mr Hargreaves: Shut up, you!

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, you are warned for inappropriate behaviour in the chamber.

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. The government certainly has indicated already the extent to which it believes this is a wise report. We accept its inherent wisdom and we have given a very strong indication that we support the recommendations in the broad. Generally we believe the recommendations to be soundly based. But of course, as everybody would accept and understand, we do want to listen. We do want, most particularly, to take advice.

As I indicated just now, we have been pleased with the willingness of some within the community to debate the issues, the willingness to accept that it is worth striving for better. Of course, that is what the government is seeking to do here, starting from a very high base with a public service that really does, in many instances, in terms of its delivery and its activities, present a best model—a model that exceeds, indeed, the performance of other public services around Australia.

We should always strive to be better. We should always be prepared to debate. We should always actually open ourselves to the possibility and opportunities that change may bring. And we need to accept that in striving to be better, in seeking to improve, we do not have to suggest for one minute that we are acknowledging failure. And the government are not doing that in this case. We simply believe that there are other views, other opportunities, other ways of doing things and doing them better. And that has been, at this early stage, a day after the release of the report, the indication that the government has received from people such as Professor Stephen Bartos, author of Public Sector Governance, and Jack Waterford, somebody that engages with these issues—and even, just this evening, a release from the University of Canberra welcoming the report and its content.

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