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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2557..

MR HUMPHRIES: I will take that on notice, Mr Speaker.

Motor vehicle registration charges

MR HIRD: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. Can the minister advise the parliament how much ACT motorists have saved since the cuts to registration charges came into effect on 1 July this year?

MR SMYTH: I thank Mr Hird for his question, which was a good question. The government is a government which, through sound financial management, has been able to give back to the people of Canberra some of the money that, I think, they richly deserve. As of the first month, $950,000 from reduced motor vehicle registration charges has gone back directly into the pockets of Canberrans. As members of this place would be aware, the government has reduced the registration charge for motor vehicles by $58 in this year's budget. We expect that to save Canberrans something like $10 million a year. We have been able to do so because the government has turned around the financial position of the territory.

Mr Stanhope: How is the hospital going?

MR SMYTH: We have made up for the $344 million operating loss-

Mr Stanhope: How many nurses did you get rid of?

MR SPEAKER: Order! I am not going to tolerate constant interjections.

Mr Stanhope: How many nurses did you get rid of?

MR SPEAKER: If somebody would like to be removed today, just keep it up.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. As you were saying that, Mr Stanhope again interjected.

MR SPEAKER: The warning has been issued.

MR SMYTH: The reason we have been able to do so is that we have made up for Labor's $344 million operating loss. We have now got a balanced budget and, in fact, we have killed Mr Quinlan's white whale.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Hird?

MR HIRD: This is a good news story, Mr Speaker. The sum of-

MR SPEAKER: Ask your supplementary question, please.

MR HIRD: My supplementary question is about this good news story. The sum of $950,000 for July is higher than I would have expected, given that the estimated saving for the year for ACT is in the order of $10 million. Can the minister advise the parliament whether there are any reasons for the strong demand in July?

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