Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 143..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
Mr Smyth said he is happy for this to be done and passed by 19 December. If this waits until 19 December, that money will not go out to those community organisations in time for Christmas. It just will not happen. The 19th is a Friday, Christmas is midway through the next week; it just will not happen. If the opposition deny this, they are denying $31/2 million to the community sector in time for Christmas.
Mr Smyth: Put that in as a stand-alone bill. Take the rest out.
MS GALLAGHER: I know you question whether or not that can happen, but we have been working on processes to make sure that it does happen, and that that money does go out. It is dependent on us meeting this week's time frame. This is not something that we normally do. Normally we do not put in a budget bill and expect it to be passed two days later. It is not the normal way of doing things, but we have one sitting week in December. It is because of the way the election has been held, the convening of the Assembly, and then the first sitting week. We introduced this bill at the first possible opportunity that we had post the election. And Mr Smyth says, "Why didn't you do it three weeks ago?' As Mr Smyth would know from being in cabinet, it does take some time to put together an appropriation bill. If you are going to put the time in, be reasonable, and dot the i's and cross the t's, it does take a period of time to do that.
I do not think it is reasonable to say that, on the first sitting day of the new Assembly, we have delayed introducing this appropriation bill; we have not. As I said, I confirm my willingness to work with every single member—not just the shadow treasurer and the Greens—who wants a briefing on this bill. We will make it happen so that when debate happens on Thursday, people will feel able to participate fully in that discussion.
Motion (by Mr Corbell) put:
That the question be now put.
The Assembly voted—
Ms Le Couteur
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
That Mr Smyth's motion be agreed to.
The Assembly voted—