Page 2481 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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The committee was run by the standing orders. On a number of occasions we sought advice from the Clerk as those opposite floundered in their attempts to stall it. It is funny. When we set out on this journey Mr Hanson said, “All right, I am the chair; this is the way I would like to do the report.” Nobody disagreed. It is here in the minutes. They say, “The chair proposed to consider the draft report paragraph by paragraph. Mr Smyth sought confirmation that consideration would be by omission. No member indicated objection to Mr Smyth’s proposed approach to report consideration.”

No member objected to Mr Smyth’s proposed approach to report consideration. Why not? Because it is the way we have always done it. You get the report from the draft. Chairs do it in varying ways, but the chair said, “We will move through this as quickly as we can. If you have got a problem, where is your next problem? Okay, let’s vote on that.” That is how it has been done in all the estimates committees I have been on. I understand that it is the way just about every estimates committee has been done. It is the way this one was done because that is the way it is done.

If you do not like the outcome, because in a whiff of brilliance the government has nobbled the process, then go and talk to your members about how the committee has been set up. The only thing that varied from the standard way that estimates has been done in my time in this place is that we had an even number of members. If that caused you grief because it backfired on you, then go back to your tactics committee and tell them they need to lift their game.

Madam Speaker, this is a good report. This report moved through the process as it has always done. We started with a day of hearings with the community. The community came and told us that there were things they were unhappy with. In the dissenting report there is this commendation from the government on the way that they have been working with the RSPCA. Now, that is not what the RSPCA told us. The RSPCA told us of the uncertainty they face, the lack of funding they have had to put up with and the dilemma that they still have after five, six, seven years of negotiations with the government in looking for a new site. It has not been resolved. Look at the dissenting recommendations and then actually read the transcript of what happened. You will see that the two opposition members have simply overcooked this little egg a little bit way too much.

It is a good report because we then had the 10 days of hearing and we had a recall day. We had to have a recall day because some very significant issues have not been addressed by the government. It would appear that the government will not address these issues because we have it from the Treasurer that he does not believe an update to the budget is necessary until the midyear review, which normally is not out until February.

It is important that we know what the bottom line is. As Mr Hanson pointed out, if that $100 million is ripped out of the budget, somebody must pay or some service must be reduced. It is appropriate that the estimates committee hold the government to account on the very basic numbers. If you cannot trust the numbers, or if the numbers are wrong or inaccurate for any reason, then the government should update the

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