Page 3450 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
What is relevant—and it is appropriate that documents be sought in that context—is the government has taken a set of decisions; the Greens have supported those. They are based on certain parameters and certain assumptions. That information should undoubtedly be publicly available. The Greens completely support that, and that is why I am endeavouring to acknowledge what I believe Mr Smyth was trying to do—that is, to get the modelling that lies under the tax reforms that have been made and the projections built into that. The community has a right to that information. They are the decisions that have been taken that are going to play out for the community.
I believe my amendment reflects that. It gives some definition to the public service to have to go off and find the documents. In any request, whether it is freedom of information or a call for documents, there should be some borders or some crispness around what you are actually asking for, otherwise real time goes into searching for things that may not be sought.
I have also put a return date on this. In discussions with the Treasurer he indicated to me that it would take some time for the agency to produce the documents and that any date set should allow for the practicalities of that. I think that this is a date that, whilst it is not the close of business today, is certainly in the near term, and it means members of the Assembly will have access to the documents in a timely manner. I have sought to find a productive way forward on this issue, and I commend my amendment to the Assembly. I now move my amendment as circulated:
Omit all words after “That” first occurring, substitute:
(1) notes the information provided in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Budget papers concerning the taxation reforms; and
(2) in accordance with standing order 213A, calls on the Government to table, by 31 October 2013, any other analysis of the impacts that the taxation reforms implemented to date are expected to have over time.”.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (10.52): The government will support this amendment. Much of the information that is sought within the amendment is already publicly available. Some information can, of course, be accessed by members now, particularly in the 2012-13 budget papers, the 2013-14 budget papers and the five-year tax reform plan that I released with the 2012-13 budget.
As I indicated in my response when Mr Smyth first moved this motion in September, many elements of information are budget in confidence, and the government will, of course, seek executive privilege in relation to those matters that impact upon the territory budget, as is right and proper and as you would anticipate.