Page 2814 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Madam Speaker—
MADAM SPEAKER: On the point of order, Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: Mr Barr is making a direct reference to issues raised explicitly in the dissenting report, and there can be no suggestion that he is inappropriately addressing those. He is making reference to a matter that is already on the public record and accepted in a report to this place.
MADAM SPEAKER: Without re-reading the dissenting report from Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman, I do not have a direct recollection. I will take your word for it that those issues are canvassed in the dissenting report, Mr Corbell. If it is the case—and I will review the report at the break—that those issues were raised there, it probably should have been raised at that time. If it is on the record then the Treasurer is free to recanvass those issues, as long as he is recanvassing them and not making new assertions. So the Treasurer needs to be careful how he frames his comments.
MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. And, yes, Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman did raise concerns regarding the chair’s conduct of the committee and his failure to observe parliamentary procedural arrangements. The matters of bullying raised by Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman are indeed disturbing.
The government has not responded to each individual recommendation of the dissenting report. We have, however, provided a broad response to it and thank Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman for clearly recognising that this budget provides the basics needed to deliver good government for the people of the ACT.
In closing, the report of the estimates committee and its recommendations do not raise any issues at all that would prevent the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2013-2014. On behalf of the government I thank the committee for its consideration of the appropriation bills and remind the Assembly that this 2013-14 budget is about building and transforming Canberra for a prosperous and sustainable second century. I commend the government response to the Assembly.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.13): I was not intending to speak to the government’s response at this stage but I do need to address a couple of issues that were raised by the Treasurer. Firstly, I consider that some of the comments made by the Labor members of the committee need to be addressed. They are playing political games. They are trying to tear down the very legitimate recommendations which were made in the committee report. They are trying to politicise the process. And I understand that. That is one of the consequences of having these committees that are two-all—it lends itself to that.
But let us not have any pretence in this place that there is a highly political estimates report and that there is some noble dissenting report that is fair, just and above politics. I would invite anybody here to read the dissenting report, to read the 575 recommendations of glowing praise of the government, the nonsense that is contained in that report, and I think people will get a very clear idea that there was a partisan