Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1021..
Mr Quinlan: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask about the monetary value.
MR HUMPHRIES: I heard the question, Mr Quinlan, and I say to you that I do not think that the monetary value of the stadium could under any reasonable guise, at least a guise applied by people other than accountants and valuers, possibly be valued at zero. Look at that structure and tell me how it could be valued at zero, Mr Quinlan. It might make sense to an accountant's mind, but it does not make sense to anybody else. I do not think that the stadium is appropriately valued in that way. It is obviously a valuable community asset in a lay sense and it seems to me to be a valuable asset in an economic sense as well.
I have also made the point that it should be viewed as a community asset, and the basis on which its funding is structured in the future should be that it is, in fact, a community facility. We should not expect it to turn a profit, as has been the expectation in the past. It should, in fact, be viewed as a facility which is designed to serve broader community needs.
Draft budget process
MR KAINE: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. I refer to the article in yesterday's paper by Liz Armitage headed "Another rebuff for Budget process". I am sure that the Chief Minister has seen the article, but I draw his attention particularly to the concluding couple of paragraphs. The ACT Council of Social Service is quoted as having said in respect of the draft budget process that its ability to comment on draft initiatives was severely compromised by the limited information provided by government and that changes to the process had not been well communicated, resulting in confusion and a lower level of community engagement.
I specifically want to draw the minister's attention to the part where the council was quoted as saying that it was impossible to determine if measures were new initiatives, existing initiatives with a new name, or Commonwealth programs being implemented in the ACT. Chief Minister, I guess this is an opportunity for you now to clarify the situation and tell us and ACTCOSS which of your draft budget initiatives were, in fact, genuinely new initiatives, which are being recycled as supposedly new and which are measures already being introduced by the Commonwealth.
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Kaine for that question. I think that it is important to put on the record, first of all, that the Council of Social Service has welcomed the concept of a draft budget and has told us privately and I think has told committees publicly that it believes that the process of opening up government books to allow this process to be on the table before the final budget is brought down is a good process. I know that the committees which have reported on this matter have tended to take out the criticisms of the process, put them in the reports and imply that that is the totality of the view by bodies such as ACTCOSS of the draft budget process. If that is so, it certainly is at odds with the view that they have expressed to me very forcefully and, in fact, have expressed in public as well about the need for there to be a continuing draft budget process. Let me put that point on the record first of all.