Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (29 May) . . Page.. 1098..
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. I am not sure who will take this question—the Chief Minister or Mr Corbell. It does not really matter. On what basis did you and your cabinet colleagues decide to repudiate one of the McLeod report's fundamental findings that the ACT's emergency services organisation must be an independent statutory authority?
MR CORBELL: I have just answered that question.
MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. Since the March quarter of the last financial year, the consumer price index has increased by 2.4 per cent. Over the same period, the wage price index has increased by 4.1 per cent, 71 per cent more than the CPI increase. Treasurer, in answer to a question asked of you in June last year, you anticipated that the difference between the WPI and the CPI would be just 0.7 per cent, less than half the actual difference. Treasurer, what will this difference mean in terms of revenue generated? Can you cite any other government in Australia that increases its fees and charges according to the WPI, as this government does?
MR STANHOPE: I thank the shadow Treasurer for continuing to highlight those areas of revenue which the Liberal Party, in government, would propose to dispense with. I am surprised, having learned from the ABC last week that Mr Pratt has promised $1 billion for a light rail system for the ACT, that, a week following a promise from the Liberal Party to—
Mr Stefaniak: Sorry, wrong again.
MR STANHOPE: I heard it on the ABC last week. Mr Pratt has committed $1 billion for light rail. I am fully expecting—and I hope that I do not have to wait too long—Mr Pratt to publicly thank Mr Corbell for providing a route from Belconnen to Civic for the light rail to run down.
Mr Mulcahy: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. As entertaining as this fantasy is, I did ask a question about the WPI and the CPI, and the answer does not seem to be at all relevant to the question.
MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question.
MR STANHOPE: I believe that the comment I make is relevant to the question, Mr Speaker. Mr Mulcahy has again signalled that the Liberal Party, if it ever achieves government, would reduce revenue in relation to the CPI as opposed to the wage price index. I think it is relevant, as the opposition continues to line up. Mr Pratt has announced, and not been criticised or contradicted by his leader or the shadow Treasurer, that the fire levy will be abolished.
Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under standing order 118 (b) the minister cannot debate the subject. He has to answer the question, and the question was about the difference in dollar terms and whether the Treasurer can identify any other governments.