Last week was a busy week at Parliament with David participating in 12 Budget Estimates hearings.

hSbff3qSyi6T6Q2YUR8O_OVLR1BCVBudget Estimates happen once a year and are one of the only opportunities for Greens MPs to ask direct questions of NSW Government Ministers and senior government bureaucrats on policy decisions, budget allocations or any other matters relating to their portfolios.

  • In Family and Community Services we obtained crucial information that the three FACs districts of Western NSW, Murrumbidgee  and the Mid North Coast are not child safe accredited
  • In Aboriginal Affairs we asked about a crucial legal failing that means there is currently no legal requirement for the Aboriginal Legal Service to be notified when Aboriginal people are detained by police but not charged with an offence
  • In the Legislature we stood up for the extraordinary work that Parliament House cleaners do and asked about free and open public access to Parliament’s chambers
  • In Education we asked the Minister to unambiguously support the Safe Schools program, commit to proper funding for classrooms that are at capacity and asked what oversight protocols exist for allegations of abuse of children in schools
  • In Planning we asked what the Minister is doing to get corruption out of planning decisions and why the Property Council has been so influential in lobbying the Baird Government
  • In Justice and Police we found out that the Police Minister hasn’t even contacted the family of Rebecca Maher who died in police custody and that the NSW Police have no policy for retaining text messages that may contain crucial police information
  • In Finance and Services we asked the Minister to commit to redirecting the $1.4 billion surplus in the workers compensation scheme back to injured workers who have been cut off
  • In Attorney Generals we asked for a commitment to implementing the unanimous recommendations to reform racial vilification legislation as well as the recommendations on redress from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • In Innovation and Better Regulation we pressed the government for information on the direction that Compulsory Third Party reform is going and how claims for whole person impairment will be assessed
  • In Local Government we found out that Baird’s handpicked council Administrators are being paid at least $280,000 a year and asked the Ministerto commit to banning property developers from running for local councils
  • In Skills we found out the Boston Consulting Group were paid $1.74 million to write a report smashing TAFE and asked for this spend to be justified while the wages and conditions of teachings staff has been savaged
  • In Corrections and Emergency Services we pressed the Minister for crucial information about the use of solitary confinement in juvenile prisons and why prison education programs are being privatised

The information we get from these hearings is crucial for holding the Baird Government to account, and there will be more to come from the answers we get from countless questions put on notice across our portfolios.

Thank you to everyone who sent in questions, and we will continue to keep you updated on the work we do campaigning for open, accountable and transparent decisions from this government.