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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 8 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 2640..


Estimates 2005-2006-Select Committee

Report

Debate resumed.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.00): Mr Speaker, there is a tradition to be played out here. Every year since I have been in the place, at least, the Treasurer has risen to say that that year's estimates report was the worst ever, but I cannot say that of this year's report because it was not the function of a hostile estimates committee. But let me say that the dissenting report has got to be, the 82 pages of it.

What is most disturbing, I guess, about the dissenting report is that within the first page and a half it goes back to saying, "You've had a deficit over four years of $688 million,"even though I tabled with the estimates committee a schedule to show that there was not that overexpenditure, that there were a whole lot of accounting entries in it. So it is clear that we have an opposition that wants to perpetuate misinformation. It is not right to say that we have overspent; it does not wash.

In relation to the debate on the estimates report I have to say that, for all of the time that we spent on it on Tuesday and Thursday, if you go back over Hansard-if you have nothing to do with your life other than to go over Hansard-of the two days that we have spent on this budget and distil out of it what the opposition has found wrong with this budget, you will not come up with a whole lot. You will come up with a whole raft of repetition. Although we made joke of it, with the arboretum becoming the magic pudding, that arboretum was probably spent 20 or 30 times.

The reason it was spent 20 or 30 times is that we have an opposition that is totally bereft of ideas and, therefore, just had to keep falling back on it. It was said that we should have done this and we should have done that, but at the end of the day what we did have was an opposition that just had no positive suggestion to make. We have got three and a bit years to go of this Assembly. We can hold hope, but we have had pretty well the same team here for 31/2 years and we have not had a sensible, positive suggestion put forward.

I would just finish by saying that it was a bit disturbing to hear two grown men whingeing in this place about being beaten up in a committee room by a poor little Jewish lass. That says something as to the strength of our officers.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Estimates 2005-2006-Select Committee

Report-government response

Debate resumed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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