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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2444

Senator GEORGES(5.55) —I take this opportunity to support the remarks of the Minister for Social Security (Senator Grimes) concerning the appointment of the new Auditor-General. As Chairman of the Public Accounts committee, my Committee has a responsibility to this Parliament given to it in some measure by the activities of the Auditor-General and I expect that Mr Monaghan will bring to his duties the same application as did the previous Auditor-General, Mr Brigden. I take this opportunity to express the Committee's appreciation of the work of Mr Brigden as Auditor-General and the extraordinary capacity which he brought to bear, a capacity which considerably increased the work load of the Public Accounts Committee, but with just cause.

On behalf of the Committee I take this opportunity to wish Mr Brigden well and to commend him for the manner in which he examined the accounts on behalf of the people of Australia, and the manner in which he extended the authority of the Parliament not only to departments but also to the various statutory authorities . If Mr Brigden caused some anxiety to some of his previous colleagues, I think that anxiety was well justified because he examined the estimates and criticised the actions of various authorities, both statutory and departmental, with considerable, shall we say, expertise and understanding.

We will miss Mr Brigden. That is not to say that we have any cause for concern about the new appointment, as was expressed in the Senate. Mr Brigden's ethical position was one which should be an example to all Auditors-General who follow him. I do not doubt that these views are shared by many members of the Senate and in particular by members of the Public Accounts Committee.