Debates Day 1 - Thursday 21 June 2012
Parliamentary Record 27
Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES- Thursday 21 June 2012 summary of agencies and portfolio areas which were not examined during the 60 hours. These were: Asian Relations and Trade, Defence Support, Defence Liaison, NT Home Ownership, Office of the Commissioner of Public Employment, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, Territory Discoveries, Womens Policy, Health and Community Services Complaints Commission, Climate Change, Environmental Protection Authority, Alice Springs Transformation Plan, Information and Communication Technology Policy, Land Development Corporation, Darwin Bus Service, Construction and Infrastructure, Construction Division, Correctional Services, Arts and Culture and Young Territorians. This is the Legislative Assemblys 11th year of Estimates Committee hearings. With each year the Assembly learns from the previous years and, over the years, has improved its estimates process greatly. This is my fourth year chairing Estimates and I can speak personally for the improvement the Legislative Assembly makes every year in delivering a very efficient, well-run Estimates Committee process. This is a very important committee which goes towards the scrutiny of our parliament. As was the case last year, both the Shareholding minister and Essential Services minister accompanied the chairman and managing director of the Government Owned Corporations Scrutiny Committee hearing earlier today. The result was very robust and productive questioning and answering. This arrangement has proven very successful. In relation to questions on notice, I can report there has been a decrease in the total questions taken on notice during the proceedings. There were 141 questions taken on notice this year, a slight decrease of eight questions on last year. Notably, there were no questions taken on notice for Power and Water. A third of the questions taken on notice were answered during the hearings, which is a demonstration of the preparation taken by departments for the hearings. On behalf of the committee, I thank the ministers and agencies for the promptness of their responses so far, and ask that any outstanding answers be provided as soon as possible in order to meet the requirement that answers be tabled on 20 July 2012. I thank all members who have participated in the 2012 Estimates process, particularly the ministers and Madam Speaker for their cooperation in answering questions throughout the process. I particularly thank the members of the Public Accounts Committee who formed the core membership of the Estimates Committee for the manner in which these public hearings have been conducted. It is a testament to all the members of the Public Accounts Committee for the standard maintained during the 60 hours of questioning. It goes for some time and we can become frayed, particularly at night, but overall we maintained very sound conduct during the committee process. Thank you also to the Legislative Assembly staff for their work in ensuring the process ran smoothly, with a special mention to Hansard, Building and Technical Services, Chamber Support Services and the committee staff. I also wish to place on record my sincere appreciation to the staff of all agencies involved in the Estimates process over the six days. The process cannot be effective without your hard work and dedication, particularly those who did all the preparation work and were not required to answer questions. That is much work and, hopefully, the work in itself can be a reward. The witnesses who presented did so very professionally, and provided answers that furthered our understanding of the Territory government and its budget processes. Madam Chair, I commend the reports of the 2012 Estimates Committee and the Government Owned Corporations Scrutiny Committee to the House. Madam CHAIR: Thank you, member for Fannie Bay. Honourable members, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly dated 3 May 2012, the committee has before it consideration of the Appropriation (2012-2013) Bill (Serial 208) and reports of the Estimates Committee and the Government Owned Corporations Scrutiny Committee. The question is that the proposed expenditure be agreed to, and that the resolutions or expressions of opinion as agreed to by the committees in relation to the proposed expenditure or outputs under the Appropriation (2012-2013) Bill 2012 (Serial 208) and the transactions of public sector entities included in the budget papers and applicable community service obligations paid to and dividends received from the Power and Water Corporation be noted. I remind members speech time limits for this debate are as follows: ministers, Leader of the Opposition and shadow minister 20 minutes; any other members, 10 minutes. The maximum period for consideration and conduct of this debate is five hours. Honourable members, when consideration of the bill and reports have been concluded and the question is put, the following question will then be put forthwith without debate, which is - that the remainder of the bill be agreed to; and the bill will then be reported to the Assembly. Following this report, the Speaker will call upon the Treasurer to 3218
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