BUDGET REPLY: GOVERNMENT INTEGRITY IS KEY

Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe has announced the Canberra Liberals will push for key government integrity measures as part of his official reply to the ACT Budget.

“This week’s Budget was a bad one for families and local businesses, which will be forced to absorb increasing costs as a result,” Mr Coe said.

“For the first time, revenue will exceed $6 billion. The government is producing a fiscal deficit of $485 million, while the interest bill will be $194 million. Clearly the government is taking more, and giving less back.

“Furthermore, there was nothing in this Budget to address integrity issues in local government. In addition to discussion regarding, health, education, business and urban services, in my speech today, I announced six separate integrity measures, in addition to an ICAC, that we will move to implement:

A Public Works Committee – to safeguard the ACT against recurring problems with infrastructure projects.

Giving more options to whistleblowers – making it easier for public servants to call out actual or suspected wrongdoing.

Tracking agency audits – allowing Assembly Committees to receive twice yearly progress reports on audit activities of ACT government agencies.

Improving the unsolicited proposals process – to give more clarity in legislation with regards to timelines and IP protection.

Broadening the invoice register – by halving the notifiable invoice threshold to $12,500.

Reporting land acquisitions – to ensure all land acquisitions are reported to the Assembly Public Accounts Committee, addressing certain criteria.

“It’s time we took these next steps to ensure integrity across ACT government agencies. These are worthwhile measures, to prevent the sorts of scenarios we’ve seen under this Labor government,” Mr Coe concluded.