Page 4112 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013

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MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, how are ministers meant to evaluate the performance of executives given that there are no performance indicators indicated in the contract?

MS GALLAGHER: I expect that ministers monitor the performance of their executives not just by what is written on paper but by how they perform with their day-to-day duties and based on feedback of other managerial staff.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Chief Minister, why do public servants no longer have duty statements when ordinary public servants do?

MS GALLAGHER: As I said, the performance agreements are required within three months of contracts being signed. In our efforts to ensure compliance within the six sitting days, that work will follow.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Chief Minister, why is the government reducing the information it provides to the Assembly about executive contracts?

MS GALLAGHER: We are not trying to reduce the information to the Assembly. I am trying to be compliant with section 79 of the Public Sector Management Act. I will have something further to say about this at the end of question time when I table further executive contracts. I will flag that I am looking at the process. I think it is cumbersome. I do not think the way that it has been put in place is manageable. I do not think it ensures timely accountability to the Assembly. They are the changes I am currently discussing with the head of the public service.

National Arboretum Canberra—success

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, with the National Arboretum now open for almost nine months, can you inform the Assembly how our latest attraction has added to the visitor experience, particularly in this centenary year?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The arboretum stands as a powerful symbol of Canberra’s recovery from the 2003 bushfires. It has become in its short time in this city a place of enjoyment, recreation, tourism, research and learning. With over 350,000 visitors since it opened in February 2013, the arboretum is fast becoming an iconic Canberra destination.

I think that anyone who has been up there would have seen just what a wonderful place it is. It has been attracting many visitors from Canberra, Australia and around the world. Although in its infancy, the arboretum will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the many exotic forests of the world without having to leave Canberra. With our changing seasons and the evolution of the forests, people get a new experience every time they visit.

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