The Council of Territory Co-operation Committee First Report February 2010
Tabled paper 714
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Gerard Wood
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Council of Territory Co-operation 50 First Report Role of the Members of the Committee Committee members need to take their roles seriously in respect to what has been asked of us. Country Liberals are concerned that the Chair of the Committee is prepared to be far too lenient in respect of chasing material and the treatment of government departments. To put this into perspective, we are dealing with issues so very serious that they impact on the very running of the Territory and the lives of Territorians everywhere. With such responsibly comes the need to ensure that the execution of these duties is undertaken with a view to leaving no stone unturned. This is not what we are seeing as the outcomes of the CTC thus far. Again the Country Liberals state that while we have found some material and uncovered some very disturbing things, this we believe is merely the tip of what is out there. If the Committee Chair does not start to take up the challenge to government in a manner that applies pressure to those who are presenting to the CTC, then again we will simply become a committee that is seen as something to keep the Member for Nelson satisfied and not something that will effect any real change in the Territory. If the Committee Chair does not take on a more aggressive approach to getting to the bottom of issues, the Country Liberals will simply not endorse the operation of such a committee by continuing to participate in it. Further issues that need to be addressed are the reluctance of some departments, not least of which is the Department of the Chief Minister, to take the committee seriously. It has been expressed by the Chief Minister that the departments are to fully commit to providing information. Disappointingly it took until 18 February 2010 for the Department of the Chief Minister to supply information promised the year prior. Repeated requests have only furnished excuses and last minute answers. There is also other material that is still outstanding on the CTCs books. There is no imprimatur conceded by various public service departments to the Committee. The CTCs members of all persuasions have repeatedly raised this issue in the Committee and action has been promised in the form of stern letters but little has been achieved. The reluctance of some public servants to treat this committee as anything other than a committee that needs to extract answers rather than a committee that needs to be informed as to the facts, demonstrates that the Chief Ministers instructions have either been disregarded or there are less public instructions about how this committee is to be informed. The exchange between the Under Treasurer and the Committee as to where certain infrastructure funds were to be drawn from is a case in point. Mr ELFERINK: What are the sources of those funds? Ms PRINCE: Are you talking about extra Territory government funds? Mr ELFERINK: Yes. Ms PRINCE: It was about an extra budget allocation
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