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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 6 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1917..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The ACT dragway also is a casualty of the government dragging its feet on capital projects. There is no projected date for even starting it now and the government continues to make excuses about being unable to find a site or deal with noise and environment issues. As a result, nothing happens. So much for the election promise that it would be done in 18 months. A helpful hint to the government is that it should try to overcome the problems as they are not insurmountable: have a go.

Mr Speaker, is it not curious that, while basic services are being cut and taxes and charges are being hiked, the government can still find money for curiosities such as creating a bushfire museum, allocating another $200,000 in the current budget to that, and spending money hand over foot to appeal against Coroner Maria Doogan? It just does not make sense, unless you say cynically that it is a government that is about public relations, about spin and about gilding a rather withered lily. You cannot keep doing that forever. I think the game is coming to an end and the Stanhope administration is being seen-rather slowly, perhaps, but being seen nonetheless-as one without clothes. That is a fact that is becoming painfully obvious to all.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo-Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (5.43), in reply: I will be very brief. I thank members for their contributions of varying standards. As for the Leader of the Opposition's contribution, I have to say that the challenge still remains: just give us some specifics. If we have been profligate, tell us what you would not have spent. Tell us if you would not have invested in bushfire recovery. Tell us if you would not have invested in the recommendations of the Gallop report or the Vardon report. Just be specific. If you do believe that we are headed for a $200 million deficit in the upcoming financial year, just give us a bit of a hand. Just give us one number.

I am really going to get ambitious here. Before I close, I am going to have one last crack at getting through to Mr Smyth. It is put on a regular basis that I do not know about the economic cycle because we have a thing called a budget cycle. Mr Smyth, if you would not mind, I am going to try to tell you something. I do not know whether you have the basic education to understand it.

Mr Smyth: I am all ears.

Mrs Dunne: Are you writing it down?

MR QUINLAN: Yes, write this down.

Mr Smyth : Is it basic education?

MR QUINLAN: This is basic set theory.

Mr Smyth: You have to talk slower now.

MR QUINLAN: For you, I will, and I will use small words.


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