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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1413..


Leave granted.

MS MacDONALD: I move:

That report No 1 of the Standing Committee on Education entitled Inquiry into 2002-2003 Budget, be authorised for publication.

In short explanation, it was an oversight that we had not authorised this for publication earlier.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.12 to 2.30 pm

Questions without notice

Economy

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to Mr Quinlan, the Treasurer. Yesterday in this place, Treasurer, you referred approvingly to the remarks of a commentator on ABC radio. Today it is my turn. Mr Uhlmann this morning put to Mr Simon Tennent from the Housing Industry Association this question: "So this year is a very good year to be Treasurer?" Mr Tennent replied, "Indeed." The basis for this comment, he went on to say, was that revenue from stamp duty will be "close to the mid-90 millions" and that revenue from land tax and rates will be at least $141 million.

Will you repudiate these estimates made by the HIA? Minister, are you yet ready to concede what everyone else in Canberra can see-namely, that the ACT budget is going gangbusters and that the only black hole is the one that swallowed your credibility?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Humphries, for the question. I did not hear Mr Simon Tennent this morning. It is a good line that it is a good year to be Treasurer. I think I have used it myself in the past. Receipts from stamp duty, particularly from stamp duty on conveyancing, have been very good for some time and were anticipated in large part and committed in your own budget. The concern would then be whether we can assume that in future the same level of conveyancing will hold. That would be a fairly brave assumption.

When you say "this year", you mean either this calendar year or this financial year. I assume you mean this financial year. This financial year the budget has incorporated quite a high level of stamp duty receipts from conveyancing. I concede that. I also observe, as it was observed by Access Economics, that you loosened the purse strings and spent it. Are we talking about the current year or the future?

Mr Humphries: We could afford to.

MR SPEAKER: Order! If you want to have a conversation, do it after the Assembly rises. In the meantime ask questions and get ministers to answer them.


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