Page 3326 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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committee members of the conversation. I am told a conversation was held with the Chief Minister. The chair also told the committee the preferred candidate had directly approached the ACT Auditor-General’s Office.

The committee was extremely concerned about the process which had been followed to this point and in light of these concerns we sought legal advice through the Clerk about what our powers were. We requested the extension of time to consider the nomination and sought further information from the Chief Minister and head of the ACT public service and indeed met with them—all, to my understanding, in that combination totally unprecedented in the 22 years of the Assembly.

My fundamental concern, however, is the extraordinary and undue pressure placed on the committee by the Chief Minister going public while it considered the appointment of the new ACT Auditor-General. I cannot recall another single occasion in the time that this Chief Minister has been in the Assembly as a minister or Chief Minister where she put out a nominee. And you have to ask the question: why would she do it in this case?

The appointment process involves one of the most important statutory roles in our form of democratic government. I considered these flaws to be of such magnitude that I could not remain as the deputy chair of the committee and I will be moving legislative amendments to address some of the issues that arose during this process.

Fundamentally, this was a very poor process by the government. The committee decision to confirm that poor process was something that I did not agree to and cannot support and, given the importance to the ACT of the position of the Auditor-General, I felt that I could not remain in a position of authority on the committee and felt that the appropriate thing to do was to resign as the deputy chair of the committee.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.34): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that planning for the proposed suburb of Throsby has not been finalised;

(b) that the area for the proposed development of Throsby contains areas of high biodiversity value, including critically endangered Yellow Box / Red Gum Grassy Woodland, and sits between Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat Nature Reserves, which contain the largest and most intact example of this ecosystem type in the ACT;

(c) that bird surveys undertaken by the Canberra Ornithological Group indicate that the area is an important breeding ground for vulnerable Superb Parrot populations;

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