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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 233..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

that it is not being treated with respect, but it may just not be workable. That is the point I am making, and it seems to be what Mr Moore was saying. We do not have the time to do this properly. If we do not have the time to do it properly, we should not do it. For that reason, I will be voting against Mr Humphries' motion. As I have made quite clear, I do not think it is an adequate timeframe.

I wish to respond to a couple of things Mr Moore said. I know that he is doing the arguing, and he is good at that, but I know that he also knows that it is not true to say that you have to balance priorities within portfolio areas. No government does that. You know that. You are just arguing the point. If you are really interested in balancing priorities, such as police versus disabilities, that crosses two committees. Of course you have to look at the overall expenditure of the territory, which we cannot do in this model that Mr Humphries has come up with.

Revenue always comes up as an important subject of discussion. It was very interesting to me to read the paper today. I have not been able to read it in detail, but the reaction from people I talked to was quite interesting to me. There were not many, I admit, but a couple of members of the general public said, "This is a vote-buying exercise. How interesting."

We are forgoing a lot of revenue. I am looking forward to the government's analysis of how forgoing that revenue balances against how we are performing in the ACT. Mr Humphries claims to be focusing on poverty, intervention and so on. Let us look at the social condition of this territory. We know that there are a lot of problems. We know that there is a lot of unmet need. No-one opposite is denying that. I am interested to see how the government balances forgone revenue against the unmet need and how that works in the long term for the good of the territory.

In the draft budget committee's report we made a recommendation about revenue that is forgone through waivers to the business community and industry. We have asked that that become a transparent process. A lot of revenue is forgone. In the federal arena the accountability mechanisms associated with corporate welfare and the accountability mechanisms imposed on people in the general community receiving welfare are so far apart. The draft budget committee said that it wanted to see much more accountability in how this government forgoes revenue when it is assisting businesses.

I believe it is very important that we have a broader discussion across the portfolio committees if we are going to have this process. But, as I have said, I do not think it looks possible in the timeframe that the government says is possible. For that reason I will not be supporting this motion. But I hope I get support at least for my amendment to bring some credibility into the process.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (12.21): I will speak to the amendment. I am not sure about the ethics of Ms Tucker moving an amendment to a motion that she does not intend to support. She wants to oppose the motion, but she also wants to amend it. I would have thought that if you move an amendment to a motion and if you get that amendment up, you have an obligation to support the motion. I am far too ethical a person, obviously, to be involved in this place.


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