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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 4258..


MR SMYTH: Prove it, Mr Gentleman. Can you prove that it is 1,000 down? You interject, "A thousand."Now you sit there, mute. Prove it, Mr Gentleman. Prove it is a thousand down. You are like a parrot; you sit there, all puffed up, with your yellow badge on and you go, "We're 1,000 down."You follow Mr Hargreaves's lead. You are turning into a parrot. You have got to be careful, Mick.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Refer to Mr Gentleman by his proper name but not whilst you are responding to disorderly interjections. Mr Gentleman will be quiet as well.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, perhaps you could tell me what the proper name for a parrot is. Is it the superb parrot that he reminds you of? Is it the south-eastern parrot? Does he look more like a galah? If you could tell me what the proper name is, Mr Speaker, I would be happy to use it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Those sorts of imputations are disorderly, and you know it.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I will not respond to the interjections. We then had the statement: "We have done a whole heap of things."The minister has done a whole heap of things. Jolly good, minister! Can you tell us what the whole heap of things were? "We have got rebates; we have got bond schemes."Goodness me, governments since self-government have had rebates and bond schemes. What is new? What is getting better? Answer: nothing.

We still have not got to the bottom of the missing $30 million. There is no commitment. What Mr Hargreaves said during question time today was interesting. He said, "This government has not mishandled the budget."But he cannot tell us where the $30 million is. Then he went on to say, "Mrs Burke wants me to come into this chamber and say when we are going to give you $30 million."My response is that Mrs Burke can use her intuition and find out for herself"

If the minister looked at the documents that he has got access to, there was meant to be $10 million capital in the 2005-06 year. Where is it, Mr Hargreaves? It is missing in action. It has gone, because you have squandered it; you have mishandled the budget. The money is missing. And we do not have extra public housing. If we did, I am sure the minister would stand up and tell us, whether it was seven, 77 or 777. But he cannot; he is mute. I have asked him. He will not answer.

It is interesting, then, that the minister gave a commitment that there will be no budget leaks in the coming year. In answer to a supplementary question from Mrs Burke at question time he said, "It is highly unusual for governments to pre-empt budget discussions or budgetary outcomes and I do not propose to start the process off now."I am sure Mr Mulcahy will keep an eye on that in the lead-up to the budget, when there will not be any pre-emption and there will not be any leaks. Mr Hargreaves is an honourable man and he would not break his word. I will say it again: "It is highly unusual for governments to pre-empt budget discussions or budgetary outcomes and I do not propose to start the process off now."The question might be: when do you propose to start the process-March, maybe; April, maybe?


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