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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2345..


MR CORBELL: Clearly the local Liberals are in desperation.

Mr Cornwell: That is an expression of an opinion, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: The minister has been asked for an expression of opinion about the shadow minister for education. I think he had better find another way to express it, and I am sure he will.

MR CORBELL: The comments by Dr Nelson are blatantly wrong. Even though he was advised that they were wrong, he still insisted. Why did he insist? He insisted because Mr Pratt is not on the radar when it comes to the education debate in this city. Perhaps it was Mr Pratt's office that gave Dr Nelson this advice.

This government is investing in education in a way in which no other government has since self-government. It is providing more for education in this city overall than any other government in the history of self-government. The increase is $13.1 million this year, an increase of 5.4 per cent, not the just over 1 per cent that Dr Nelson claimed.

Criminal injuries compensation scheme

MS TUCKER: My question to the Attorney-General concerns criminal the injuries compensation scheme.

It being 3.00 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2002-2003

Debate resumed from 25 June 2002, on motion by Mr Quinlan:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (3.00): Mr Speaker, when I became opposition leader, I said I did not propose to lead a team that opposed simply for the sake of opposing. The relentless and undiluted negativity of recent budget replies has been destructive to the credibility of all ACT politicians, not just those targeted. So, today, I want to start by commending aspects of the budget for which I think the Treasurer deserves credit.

Taken individually, this budget contains some worthwhile initiatives, such as increasing medical and in-patient services to our public hospitals, the DNA crime solving program, schools refurbishment, continuation of the program to bring schoolchildren to visit Canberra, and commitment to the ICT Centre of Excellence. Further, the government makes much of having kept a number of election promises in this budget-and indeed they deserve some credit for that. However, in my experience, governments are usually expected to keep all of their promises, not just some of them. Failing to keep what some would call core promises is a particular sin.

The government has exhibited considerable pique at the criticism made in the media, in industry, and by the opposition, about the content of this budget. Words like "tabloid", "carping" and "illogical" are some of the barbs thrown at those who have dared to


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