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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1060..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

I think it would probably be useful if governments said "agreed", "not agreed" or "agreed in principle". Then you have a little bit more of an indication of their intent, but I do not think that that is a major issue worth adjourning this debate for or having a major concern about at all. I felt that the rest of the responses were quite reasonable.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (5.59), in reply: I will be as brief as I can. I thank Ms Dundas and Ms Tucker for their support and for actually talking about the bill.

In relation to what Mr Humphries has said, if I actually took away from it the expected-that is, that this response is inadequate, insufficient and too brief, that I have been testy and that I have bridled-I would actually say that, on the Humphries scale, I have pretty well unqualified support, so I will not bother responding to most of his comments.

There are a couple of points that I would like to make. I think, when Mr Humphries was debating the appropriation bill for the second time, as opposed to Appropriation Bill (No 3), he talked about the money for the hospital and asked why it was necessary. I will tell you mainly why it was necessary: because the guy sitting on his left was out trying to make a public issue of the fact that we had not given the money. I think he was screaming in the media, "Broken promises. Where is the money? The money has not arrived. You have been in government 10 minutes, and the money is not at the hospital."

Mr Smyth: But you said it had to be there by Christmas. We were just reminding you.

Mr Humphries: But it didn't, did it.

MR QUINLAN: We will not address that any more. You two work it out between yourselves. You are at odds with each other, quite obviously, but we have become adjusted to the fact that Mr Humphries has a speech for all occasions.

The other point that I want to make is that Mr Humphries talked about the prediction of a fourth appropriation bill. Previously, he had been saying that I should be using the Treasurer's Advance. I did stand in this place before and say that the reason the third appropriation bill is necessary is that I really do think that I should not burn the Treasurer's Advance, because I might get some more nasty surprises, such as those I have had since I have been in this job. I think you have totally contradicted yourself.

Mr Humphries: You can replenish it, Ted.

MR QUINLAN: I would also like to remind the Leader of the Opposition of the Auditor-General's attitude towards the use of the Treasurer's Advance, because I think he was quite critical of the previous government. In fact, I have brought legislation into this place in order to put at least some flexibility into the process.

As I said, the committee report had very little to do with the appropriation bill itself. However, we respect the right of the committee to make some wider comments, and we have answered those wider comments to the extent that we thought those comments and


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