Page 68 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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DR BOURKE: The commissioner has advised me that work safety inspectors have a range of contacts with business owners and workers, and in these everyday dealings they often stress that the way to achieve and improve worker safety is through cultural change and encouraging and developing a culture of safety within the workplace.

Answers to questions on notice

Question No 1934

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I seek an explanation under standing order 118A as to the reason for the lateness of question 1934 to the Minister for Community Services, which was due on 6 January.

MS BURCH: Mr Speaker, I signed off some questions on notice this morning. So they should be on their way to your office.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.14): In accordance with standing order 118A(c), I move:

That the Assembly takes note that the Minister for Community Services has failed to answer question on notice No 1934 in the time provided by the standing order.

Standing orders are quite clear. Ministers have 30 days to answer. Questions can be redirected that may cause that time to blow out. But the minister and her department have had since 6 January—it is now 14 February—to come to me and explain why this question has not been answered.

There is a standard practice in this place. Ministers get a rush of questions to be signed off, which are really very late, at the beginning of every sitting period. We get this “Oh, well, I have just signed off on it”.

The answer to this question was due six weeks ago. The minister had 30 days before that. It is not satisfactory. We have not seen a satisfactory answer. All the standing orders allow us to do is to note that there has not been a satisfactory explanation.

Perhaps if we do this from time to time, ministers will be more diligent in doing their job and ensuring that the administration of their offices is done correctly, that the administration of their departments is done correctly and that they comply win the standing orders.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (3.16): I refer to the question on notice. It is right that it was due on the 6th. But I had time off over Christmas, as did a number of staff, and the question covers 11 components. So I do apologise, but I think some leeway over the holiday period should be expected. I do apologise. The explanation is that there are 11 parts to that question. It covered public art, funding for the CSO and just about everything in between, Mr Speaker.

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