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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2447..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):

Here is where it might get a little tough for Mr Berry to follow. You might like to ask Mr Whitecross, but probably you will not do that either; so I had better take it a little slowly here. The other three amounts that appeared under this entry in the Gazette were actually part of the maximum figure provided under the project management agreement. Therefore, they make up part of the $8.1m. Mr Berry, are you still with me? No; I think I have lost him. Anyway, I will keep going. What Mr Money did - and I still cannot work out why - was add up the four entries. Then he ran around claiming that somehow we had spent more than $9m on the Acton project.

Funnily enough, I seem to remember that that was how Mr Berry put most of the health budgets together when he was Health Minister.

Mr Berry: The most successful one yet.

MRS CARNELL: I suppose I really should not be surprised. Mr Berry says, "The most successful one yet". Four budget blow-outs out of four! I suppose it is 100 per cent.

Mr Berry: What have you done? Your answer is $80m on a private hospital.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MRS CARNELL: Again, Mr Speaker, for Mr Berry's benefit - - -

Mr Berry: A $100m deficit.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, he does not want to listen, it seems, because it is a bit embarrassing.

MR SPEAKER: Nobody in this place does, Chief Minister; everybody knows everything.

MRS CARNELL: That is true. Again, for Mr Berry's benefit, one phone call to my office would have told him that the expected final expenditure for the demolition project is about $6m, or about $2m less than was originally forecast. In other words, what the Government has been saying all along about achieving savings on this project is entirely accurate.

Where does that leave Mr Berry in his shiny new shadow Treasury clothes? I wonder whether he still has shiny shoes. I suppose he has. There is that old political saying which goes something like this: "Never put the Left of the Labor Party anywhere near money". After four health budget blow-outs, after the VITAB debacle, after seven years of not having a clue about basic budgeting, heaven help us when Mr Berry has to actually come to grips with accrual accounting. It is all too tragic to even think about. Why, in heaven's name, would you let this MLA anywhere near the Treasury? I, for the life of me, cannot understand. This being his first day in the Assembly as leader, I would like to be charitable. Mr Speaker, how about we have a little


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