Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002

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Parliamentary Record 5


Question for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Questions for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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QUESTIONS -Tuesday 18 June 2002 After my request, the department has advised that letters were sent to all organisations which had received funds not previously acquitted, asking how the money had been spent. Responses have been received from many organisations. Unfortunately, a significant amount of that something like $ 1.6m that went out in that three months has not been acquitted. In some cases, the money has been spent for the purpose for which it was granted, but no necessary paperwork completed at the time, or officers have changed hands. There are a number of reasons why formal acquittals have not come back. There is another scenario, and that is that the money was not spent at all for the purposes for which it was applied for and given. The formerly defunct Casuarina Security Association, identified in the Auditor-Generals report, is one of those organisations which, it appears, has either yet to spend the money or, in fact, return it. It is important to remember that these funds were allocated for specific purposes and actual projects that were about to happen. The organisation was not told, when given the funds: Here is your $7000 or $8000. Have a couple of years to think about how you might spend it. There was a specific purpose. This funding was paid to Casuarina Security Association a month-and-a-half before the date of the last election. Twice the department has written to the association, along with all the other organisations in the same situation, requesting a statement that the funds were spent as allocated. We are now approaching the end of this financial year, and soon it will be 12 months since this money was allocated. I put on the record that it is incumbent on all those organisations - all of those people who have received those funds - to cooperate with the department in their efforts to draw a bottom line under this. It is not the organisations fault. In many ways, money went everywhere in the space of three months. One year later, Racing and Gaming is still trying to get the acquittals back from that. I would urge organisations that are in this situation to - there has to be a point where use or lose it. If it is not going to be spent, do the right thing and return it. Mr Paul Bartholomew - Departure as CEO of Department of Health and Community Services Mr DUNHAM to MINISTER for HEALTH and COMMUNITY SERVICES Minister, you refused to tell the Public Accounts Committee what your departments estimated final expenditure figure for this year will be. You appeared to be totally confident that your CEO would deliver on target, even though the Treasurers Annual Financial Statements tabled in the last sittings indicated a blow-out of up to S lim was likely. Is this the reason you sacked Paul Bartholomew? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question. I would like to repeat what I said before, which is that there has been an amicable and agreed upon mutual separation, and that we, on this side of the House, have respect for this man. I would like to repeat what I said in the last sittings: I have been advised that the departments budget will come in on target. Naturally, as with health systems around Australia, there are significant pressures on our budget. I have today announced a review which will be looking at all things in relation to the department, including financial accounting, financial accountability and systems. I am saying to you that I have been advised that we are going to come in on budget, and that is as much as I would like to say at this stage. Building Business Confidence in the Northern Territory Mr BONSON to MINISTER for BUSINESS, INDUSTRY and RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT What is the government doing to build business confidence in the Northern Territory? How are other members of the Territory community assisting in building business confidence? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Millner for his question. This is very important. Business confidence leads directly to investment, and the question of how this government is working together with the business community to build that business confidence is something that I am sure all honourable members would like to be updated on. We are committed to working with the business community to ensure that we have a framework in the Northern Territory that is favourable for investment, trade and jobs growth. Mr Reed: Last measure it was minus 27. Mr HENDERSON: One of the fundamental principles government has to have - and it is interesting that the member for Katherine is inteijecting - is a sound and responsible fiscal framework to work within, to be able to provide the framework and climate for investment that is devoid of the need to make significant imposts on taxes and 252