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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2578

Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (11:01): Mr Deputy Speaker Leigh, I commence my contribution to this debate on the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012 by acknowledging that this is the first time you have been in the chair as Deputy Speaker when I have spoken. I am sure that in your role as Deputy Speaker you are going to bring great wisdom, make some great rulings and, at the same time, be entertained by some very edifying speeches that will be put to the parliament. I know that you have a deep interest in the economy and economic institutions, and I am sure that you as a member of parliament find this financial framework legislation imperative and riveting and the kind of legislation that we as a parliament need to be passing.

The Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012 seeks to amend four acts and to repeal two acts across three portfolio areas, as was so eloquently put to the chamber by the previous speaker, to clarify the Commonwealth's financial framework, among other related measures. The bill also seeks to amend the Auditor-General Act 1997 to clarify that the Auditor-General may accept an appointment as the auditor of any company that the Commonwealth controls as defined under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. It also seeks to amend the CAC Act to ensure that directors of Commonwealth authorities and wholly owned Commonwealth companies may prepare budget estimates as directed by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation and notify the responsible minister of any decision. This is a very important aspect of the CAC Act and it really goes to the core of financial management and government authorities.

The bill also amends the Financial Management and Accountability Act to clarify the commencement day for special account determinations and the operation of drawing rights to clarify the financial delegations power. It updates, clarifies and aligns related financial management provisions and repeals two redundant acts that contain special appropriations, the Appropriation (Development Bank) Act 1975 and Car Dealership Financing Guarantee Appropriation Act 2009.

This legislation is all about openness and transparency and ensuring that our financial framework works in the way that it should. It has given me great pleasure to be able to make this contribution to the debate. I wholeheartedly support the legislation.