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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3130..


Mr Barr: Another leadership speech, eh?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, another leadership aspirant. Of course you do need to understand the dynamic, which is that it was Mr Mulcahy that knocked off Brendan Smyth in order to allow Mr Stefaniak to take the position, in the expectation that Mr Stefaniak would then support him for the deputy leadership and into the future.

Mr Pratt: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker, under 118, relevance.

MR STANHOPE: These things are relevant in the context that the shadow Treasurer raised the issue of time devoted to the debate. He raised it himself. He invited me, in raising it, to respond to the length of time allowed to debate the budget. And the explanation? There was sufficient time. If the opposition cannot, in 18 hours provided to it, debate or explain cogently its position on the budget, no amount of time would have been sufficient. The issue that the opposition faced in the budget debate was that every time the shadow Treasurer sought to deliver a position on behalf of the Liberal Party or the opposition, his opponents for the leadership, most notably Mr Smyth, jumped to their feet and repeated, or tried indeed to exceed, the position, to thump their chests to show the extent to which they were a far superior candidate for the leadership.

On the question of the possibility of additional expenditures, I think every government considers from time to time throughout the course of a year, budget to budget, the potential that exists or the capacity that exists to meet other community priorities. In relation, for instance, to that government—and that Treasurer to which Mr Mulcahy shows continuing and deep deference, Peter Costello—and the Prime Minister of Australia, is it seriously suggested by Mr Mulcahy in this question that the position pursued by the Prime Minister and by Mr Costello in non-budgeted, non-appropriated announcements—

Mr Mulcahy: The $34 billion in tax cuts.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Mulcahy!

MR STANHOPE: Well, that was an election promise, the $34 billion—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: Let us go back—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR STANHOPE: I am not talking about in election campaigns. That was an election promise. I am not talking about the $34 billion. Let us go back, say, to the $10 billion for the Murray-Darling. Go back to the announcement by the Prime Minister and the federal Treasurer, outside the budget context but within the budget period. Irrespective of what was contained within the federal budget, the Prime Minister and the federal Treasurer felt no inhibition in saying: "Oh, well, that's the budget. We put that to bed last week and I now announce today that the commonwealth will over the


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