Public Accounts and Estimates Committee: budget estimates 2017-18

01 Nov 2017

Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (10:36:55) — I too, like many other members this morning, wish to make some remarks on the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee report tabled yesterday. Indeed, this was my seventh estimates process. I must say I think it is still a useful process despite a degree of dumbing down of some of the operations of the committee and despite, it has to be said, the refusal of the government to keep the election commitments that they made with regard to the estimates process. They made a promise to remove Dorothy Dixers from the estimates process, and that has not occurred. We have had Dixer after Dixer after Dixer throughout the process. They made a commitment to implement a Senate-style estimates process. Again, the government have been totally silent on this. There has been some movement in terms of the format of the estimates process, but that has been entirely due to the work of the committee. The government have had absolutely nothing to do with it. As for moving to the sort of close scrutiny and the number of hours of scrutiny that are undertaken in the Senate, we are a very, very long way from being anywhere near that. Despite that, as I say, I think it is still a useful process.

Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (10:36:55) — I too, like many other members this morning, wish to make some remarks on the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee report tabled yesterday. Indeed, this was my seventh estimates process. I must say I think it is still a useful process despite a degree of dumbing down of some of the operations of the committee and despite, it has to be said, the refusal of the government to keep the election commitments that they made with regard to the estimates process. They made a promise to remove Dorothy Dixers from the estimates process, and that has not occurred. We have had Dixer after Dixer after Dixer throughout the process. They made a commitment to implement a Senate-style estimates process. Again, the government have been totally silent on this. There has been some movement in terms of the format of the estimates process, but that has been entirely due to the work of the committee. The government have had absolutely nothing to do with it. As for moving to the sort of close scrutiny and the number of hours of scrutiny that are undertaken in the Senate, we are a very, very long way from being anywhere near that. Despite that, as I say, I think it is still a useful process.