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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3135..


MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Seselja, cease interjecting.

MR BARR: It is something that you see quite often in shadow ministers in this place. For six weeks, Mrs Dunne was unaware of the release of the college business plan. She made absolutely no attempt to get across any of the detail there. She came into this place ill informed, making a series of comments that were factually incorrect. This is just a continuation of a pattern of behaviour from shadow ministers that reflects very poorly on their ability to be across the detail of their portfolio.

However, this government continues to work in the area of affordable housing. As I say, we have the most advanced, the most sophisticated and the broadest ranging response to housing affordability issues of any jurisdiction in Australia. The opposition do not like hearing it. They do not like hearing it, but it remains a fact that this jurisdiction is further advanced in its response to affordable housing issues than any other jurisdiction in Australia.

Budget

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Treasurer. Can the Treasurer inform the Assembly of the importance of the objective of surplus budgeting to the notion of a sustainable budget strategy?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Mr Gentleman, for the question. I have no doubt that Mr Gentleman's question is driven very much by the decisions taken by the Liberal Party over the last week to drive the ACT budget into deficit. Of course, we all know how comfortable the Liberal Party is with deficits. In the last 12 years of ACT government—

Mr Smyth: On a point of order under standing order 118 (b): the minister was asked about the importance of surplus budgeting—he was not asked about the Liberal Party—and I would ask you to get him back to the economics lesson.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. If one is speaking about surpluses, one will, of course, speak also about deficits, but Mr Smyth, perhaps, does not understand the notion. Yes, we know he does. We know he understands very well, as do the Liberal Party, the notion of deficits. In the last l2 years—

Mr Stefaniak: You left us a very big one in 1995, and we left you a surplus in 2001, you goose.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Stefaniak.

MR STANHOPE: In the last 12 years of government within the ACT, there have been six years of Liberal government.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Name-calling is just not going to be tolerated. Withdraw that.


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