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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1209..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

What does it mean? It means extra patrol resources 24/7 in the north and south regions of Canberra. It means extra patrol car strength for both those patrol districts. It also means more capacity to respond to the category 2 and category 3 incidents where people do not need to see the police straightaway but do need to see them within 24 or 48 hours of reporting a particular incident or event. This gives our police the capacity to do that better, more often and in a more timely way.

The government remains committed to improving community safety in the ACT. This is a very important part of making it happen.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Federal budget—impact on ACT economy

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.56): It was interesting to hear earlier from the Chief Minister about the federal government cutting back on health funding. He sets a percentage and says that the percentage seemingly is set in stone and cannot change. I think members would be more than interested to know the progress of health spending over the last couple of years by the federal government. When Tony Abbott says that he has been the best friend of Medicare, he is not joking, because what you will see over the three years from the 2005-06 financial year to the 2007-08 financial year is not a cutback in spending on health; you will see an additional $5,898,000,000 for health—let me say that again: $5,898,000,000, an additional 15 per cent—from the federal government. That is not a cutback. That is a mammoth endorsement of the federal government's support for the public health system in this country.

Let us look at education. In 2005-06, they spent they spent $20,035,000,000 on education. In 2007-08, they will spend an additional $1.663 billion, up to $21.698 billion, an increase of eight per cent. Those are not cuts. Those are not illusionary. That is not fiddling with the figures, as Mr Stanhope continually does—to quote the quote "lies, damn lies and statistics"—to try to portray the federal government as having reduced funding on health and education. They have not. The Chief Minister should stand up and acknowledge the 15 per cent rise in health funding and eight per cent rise in education funding. That is something that should be acknowledged.

The Chief Minister has moved an amendment. The Chief Minister wants to cut off the motion at the end of the first page of the notice paper because he does not want to acknowledge the facts. How can you delete a fact that says that the Howard government has delivered 10 consecutive budget surpluses? Why would you? Is it surplus envy? Is it the fact that you do not want to give credit where credit is due? Having grown the economy and given tax cuts, they have still managed to deliver 10 consecutive budget surpluses, unlike the budgeting for a deficit approach of the Stanhope Labor government. Indeed, in contrast to the $10.6 billion surplus of the latest federal budget, the 2005-06 ACT budget recorded a deficit of $162.3 million, as outlined on page 9 of the ACT's 2006-07 budget paper No 3, Jon Stanhope's own facts. I am not sure why you would want to delete reference to your record, Chief Minister, unless you are embarrassed by it.


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