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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 164..


Mr Smyth: On a point of order Mr Speaker: under standing order 118 (a) the minister must be relevant; under 118 (b) he must not debate the subject. The question was: what discussions did he have with federal Labor colleagues? It is not about the legacy of a previous government.

MR SPEAKER: It was about the Griffin legacy and cuts to the funding. You asked the question about discussions.

Mr Smyth: The question was: what discussions did the minister have?

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister will come to the subject matter of the question.

MR STANHOPE: Since the federal election I think I have had three separate meetings, not counting telephone discussions, with the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Bob Debus. In my last discussion, during which we discussed the Griffin legacy, I discussed with Mr Debus the basis or rationale of the cuts to the NCA. He said, "Of course, the basis and the rationale is the outrageous lack of prudent financial management by the previous Prime Minister, John Howard, and the previous Treasurer, Peter Costello, and members of the federal parliament such as Senator Gary Humphries, who have a total disregard."

The last discussion I had with the Minister for Home Affairs about Constitution Avenue and the Griffin legacy involved an explanation. I put it to Mr Debus: Mr Debus, why have you done this? "We are doing this because of the absolutely outrageous disregard by the previous government of the implications of interest rate rise after interest rate rise after interest rate rise on young Canberra families, and indeed on everybody around Australia with a mortgage."

Mr Pratt: How much is it, Jon, in the federal budget? It's nothing.

Mrs Dunne: How big is the commonwealth deficit?

MR STANHOPE: That was the discussion we had. In terms of the discussions I have had with the federal government—

Mr Pratt: I hope your minder's racing upstairs to ring Debus—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne, cease interjecting. Mr Stanhope, resume your seat. I warn you, Mr Pratt.

MR STANHOPE: The discussion I had with Mr Debus, as I raised with him my concerns about the implications for Canberra and for the Griffin legacy, involved an explanation of the reasons that led to some of the decisions which the federal government has made and has foreshadowed that it will make in order to rein in what threatens to be rampaging inflation. It is approaching 3.5 per cent and is heading for four. The federal Treasurer has indicated on a number of occasions that the Treasury advice to him is that inflation will exceed four per cent during this year. Eleven straight—

Mr Stefaniak: It was 17 under Whitlam.


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