Page 3042 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022
continuing to deliver on our record $65 million pipeline of suburban infrastructure, delivering on our commitment to better suburbs right across our city. I am very pleased to commend this part of the budget and our commitment to continuing to provide great services for the ACT community.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.00 to 2.00 pm.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (2.00): Minister Gentleman will not be present in question time today. Minister Steel will assist members with questions on planning and land management, police and emergency services, and corrections. I will endeavour to assist members with questions relating to industrial relations and workplace safety.
Questions without notice
MS LEE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in your Budget at a glance document for 2022-23, there is a doughnut chart that explains the proportion of expenses in each portfolio area. A similar chart is also used on Canberrans’ general rates notices. Your government’s debt repayments, estimated to be $335 million this financial year, have not been included in this chart, even though this amount is more than expenditure in the portfolios of environment and climate change, transport, housing and justice. Treasurer, why are interest repayment costs left off this chart as an expenditure category?
MR BARR: It is not an expenditure category and would be accounted for in ‘other’.
MS LEE: Treasurer, will you include the interest repayment portion on future versions of the doughnut chart on Canberrans’ rate notices?
MR BARR: No.
MR PARTON: Chief Minister, why are you hiding the truth about $355 million of taxpayer funds, given that the interest repayments make up the same expenditure as the entire justice portfolio?
MR BARR: The government is not. If the Liberal Party’s position is that there can be no public debt, then they ought to state that—and be very clear about the implications.
Mr Parton: That is not what the question is about. The question is about transparency.