Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2016) . . Page.. 1923 ..
much longer and more considered view of this to get to the nub of the issue and really start to unpick where the shortfalls and the gaps are. Hopefully, this would mean that we could see an end to the trend of youth taking this drastic decision.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Public Accounts—Standing Committee
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.22): I present the following report:
Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 27—Review of Auditor-General’s Report No. 1 of 2016: Calvary Public Hospital Financial and Performance Reporting and Management, dated 31 May 2016, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.
The committee is getting a little ahead of itself on this report. I commend the members of the committee for the way we have tackled this issue. On 8 April this year, Madam Speaker, you tabled a report from the Auditor-General entitled Report No 1 of 2016: Calvary Public Hospital financial and performance reporting and management.
The difficulty for us as a committee is that with the four-month delay that the government has to respond to the committee—working from 8 April—that would take us to 8 August before the committee actually got a government submission. That, of course, really rules out the ability of PAC to do anything. That is the start of the second sitting week, the budget debate week. I think we all know what then happens after that.
So what the committee determined to do was to look at the report after a detailed briefing from the Auditor-General. We have come up with five recommendations. The first recommendation is that the government take appropriate steps to ensure that its response to the report is actually tabled by the end of the first sitting week in August.
What that will do is enable members to look at the government’s response and how they intend to tackle the issue. This would give anyone who wanted to comment, and that would include members of PAC, an opportunity to do so in the budget week itself. As there will be, as there always is, a substantial amount of time devoted to debating the health budget—one-third of the total budget—if members had comments on whether or not the government was taking appropriate steps, they could be addressed.
The dilemma would be if the government tabled its response on the first sitting day of the second week of the August sittings, which is when it is technically due. If this were to happen, perhaps the ability to respond would be somewhat limited. Certainly doing it in the first week of August sittings would allow members to read the response and mull it over on the weekend.