Disability Equipment And Services

24 Nov 2010 archivespeech
This speech is in relation to Disability Equipment And Services. The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK expresses that an investigation will be quite beneficial to reforming the way in which disability services are funded in South Australia.

Adjourned debate on motion of the Hon. J.M.A. Lensink:

 1. That a select committee of the Legislative Council be appointed to inquire and report upon—

(a) Disability equipment payments made to non-government organisations raised in the 2009-2010 Auditor-General's Report;
(b) The appropriateness of one-off funding commitments for disability services in comparison to increased recurrent expenditure; and
(c) Any other related matter.

2. That standing order No.389 be so far suspended as to enable the chairperson of the committee to have a deliberative vote only.

3. That this council permits the select committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the committee prior to such evidence being presented to the council.

4. That standing order No.396 be suspended to enable strangers to be admitted when the select committee is examining witnesses unless the committee otherwise resolves, but they shall be excluded when the committee is deliberating.

(Continued from 10 November 2010.)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (16:52): I thank all honourable members for their contributions, in particular, the Hon. Tammy Franks, the Hon. Kelly Vincent and the Hon. John Gazzola, although, as usual, there was much hubris in his response. I am not sure that the government has learnt yet that that approach does not gain them any friends in this chamber.

In response to those comments, I think that my speech in favour of this motion was fairly clear about what this involved. Indeed, as highlighted by the Auditor-General, this was quite a breach of the government's own policy. So, when the government says that it is a witch-hunt, I am not quite sure how they would describe what they did to poor Kate Lennon, in her position, when she did something she believed was part of government practice at the time.

There are two terms of reference: first, that this is limited to the matters raised within the Auditor-General's Report and, secondly, the appropriateness of one-off funding commitments. We have had contributions made by the crossbenchers on that, who I think recognise that reform can be made in this regard.

I am not going even to respond to some of the nonsense the government has placed on the record, because they are clearly trying to avoid the matter and muddy the issues. I encourage all members to support an investigation into this matter, which I do not anticipate will be particularly extensive or longwinded. I think such an investigation will be quite beneficial to reforming the way in which disability services are funded in South Australia.

Motion carried.

The council appointed a select committee consisting of the Hon. Rob Lucas, the Hon. Kelly Vincent, the Hon. Ian Hunter, the Hon. Russell Wortley and the Hon. Michelle Lensink; the committee to have power to send for persons, papers and records, and to adjourn from place to place; the committee to report on 9 February 2011.