Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (15:55): I do not know that I have ever heard a four minute speech sound so long, like an indefinitely timed opposition speaker, for a lead speaker against a bill. The point that I want to make is that this is a very brief bill. I make no reflection on the member for Fisher. I think that she put forward the government's case such as the government's case is and can be put forward, but the government's case is based on a bureaucratic approach to governing that typifies so much of what is wrong with the way that the South Australian government has dealt with the community over the last 13½ years.
Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (11:42): I am pleased to rise to speak on the Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Budget 2015) Bill, which of course puts into legislation some of the measures that were identified in the state budget. As other members of the opposition have done, I will be supporting the bill. It is our habit to do so, on both sides of the parliament, in relation to budget bills. That does not mean that it would not be appropriate to pass comment on some of the measures and some of the ways it could be improved, particularly considering the issues that confront South Australia.
Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (15:13): Today is the last day before the winter break and it is shaping as a very cold winter for a number of people on the steps of this house, amongst other things, and for some within it. It is also a day on which the Electoral Commissioner has had her report on the 2014 election tabled.
The CHAIR: Member for Morialta, do you have an opening statement?
Mr GARDNER: Just very briefly I add my congratulations again to the new commissioner, Mr Stevens, and the new deputy commissioner. Going to questions, Budget Paper 4, Volume 3, page 113, 'Workforce summary': by what date will the government reach its 'recruit 300' promise?
Mr GARDNER: —at activity indicators. All of the performance and activity indicators identify an estimated result for the end of the 2013-14 financial year. As we are now past 30 June, can you please provide us with the figures for 30 June for those eight indicators, and if you take it on notice then I will not blame you.
Mr GARDNER: No, only to welcome the commissioner to what I assume will be her final estimates, and I hope that it is a joyful experience for her. My first question while we are on the Electoral Commissioner—and, welcome again—refers to Budget Paper 4, Volume 2, page 48. The Administered Items identify two full-time equivalent employees, one of whom is, of course, the commissioner. What is the time frame for the appointment of the new commissioner?
Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (11:16): The Freedom of Information (Offences) Amendment Bill will require stricter controls to be placed on the way that freedom of information applications are treated by government offices. As a member of the opposition, it is critically important because we believe that, where possible, information must be freely available to the people of South Australia.
Mr GARDNER: Yes, it is. It is my understanding that this is probably the only chance I will have to speak on this again before we send it back to the Legislative Council for their consequential consideration of—
The CHAIR: And you are going to take that opportunity?
Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (11:32): I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on the Public Works Committee report on the Henley Beach Police Station. I know that, in due course, some of my colleagues will no doubt have some interesting words to say about the matter. Obviously any new infrastructure in the police portfolio is of significant interest to me as the shadow police minister. In a year when the Labor Party has shut down eight police stations, it is nice to see that they are at least trying to open one up, given the rhetoric that we have had to deal with at every election campaign.
Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (15:55): My voice is fading fast, so I will not detain the house for the full 20 minutes on the Appropriation Bill. I could provide you with some prepared remarks, but that would require me to write it in advance and that is against, of course, Westminster practice and procedure, as Erskine May tells us; instead, I offer just a few remarks on the Appropriation Bill ex tempore.